Na­tive River to miss As­cot to head straight for Gold Cup de­fence

Gloucestershire Echo - - RACING -

» COLIN Tiz­zard has con­firmed Na­tive River will by­pass an out­ing in the re­ar­ranged Den­man Chase at As­cot on Satur­day and head straight to the Mag­n­ers Chel­tenham Gold Cup.

The Mil­borne Port han­dler in­tends to give the nine-year-old at least one race­course gal­lop ahead of the de­fence of his Gold Cup crown, af­ter de­cid­ing not to run him in the Grade Two con­test - which he has won for the past two years - fol­low­ing its switch from New­bury to As­cot.

The three-mile prize was one of two races trans­ferred to As­cot by the Bri­tish Horserac­ing Author­ity on Mon­day, along with the Bet­fair Hur­dle, from the post­poned card at New­bury on Satur­day af­ter the sport was put on lock­down for six days due to an out­break of equine in­fluenza.

Tiz­zard said: “We won’t run Na­tive River at As­cot on Satur­day. He looked awk­ward at Kemp­ton go­ing righthande­d and we have now taken him there twice.

“He has won over fences go­ing righthande­d, but that was a four-run­ner race at Ex­eter and that is a big, gal­lop­ing track.

“He is fit and ready to go. It is only a month away from the Gold Cup and we are get­ting to close to it.

“He def­i­nitely jumps bet­ter left­handed and we want him in the best shape for the Gold Cup.”

He added: “We will give him a race­course gal­lop at Win­can­ton or Larkhill. We have got plenty of places to go and we will do that away day next week, I imag­ine.

“We might do it twice, but not nec­es­sar­ily have a flat-out gal­lop.

“Last sea­son he only had one run be­fore the Gold Cup and this sea­son he has had two, so we are on par.”

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