Native River made a winning reappearance in Saturday's Many Clouds Chase at Aintree.
Joe Tizzard has hinted that Native River could run in this season’s Grand National at Aintree, after making a winning appearance at the course on Saturday.
The nine-year-old was a facile winner of the Grade 2 Many Clouds Chase on Saturday, and Tizzard revealed that he was pleased with the run - for all that the race rather changed complexion with the early departure of Might Bite.
He told the Jumps Racing Podcast: “It is a shame, the two of them were set to have their normal ding-dong battle, but from our point of view he’s got into a lovely jumping rhythm, went a really good gallop and did it nicely.
“It’s nice for him to win with his head in his chest for once, as he’s had some hard races over the years, so it’s nice for the horse.”
Saturday’s success was Native River’s first since winning the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and although that is once again the aim this term, Tizzard hinted that his charge could be back at Aintree for the Grand National in April.
He said: “Garth and Anne (Broom, the owners) are slowly coming around to the idea, and it would suit him. He will certainly have an entry and we’ll see how this season develops before making a decision closer to the time.”
Native River is no stranger to big handicap successes, winning the 2016 Welsh Grand National off top weight, and Tizzard feels he has plenty of attributes that would suit him at Aintree;
“He jumps very well, he gallops and he stays and he’s got a touch of class as well so obviously he ticks a lot of boxes, but we’d all have to be 110% behind it for it to happen, but his main target will be the Gold Cup.
“We’re chuffed to bits with his win in the Many Clouds; Black Corton in second is a fair yardstick to thrash so we’re really pleased and hopefully we’ve got some more big days to come.”