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The AccaDoo boys were more than satisfied with Native River’s third place in the 2017 Gold Cup, having tipped Colin Tizzard’s star up in our 2017 ante post column, and we feel he is value to better that in the Gold Cup 2018.
The 2017 race looked to be a very slowly run race, an impression that was confirmed by our race timing experts, and the sprint to the finish that would not have suited Native River, who is all about staying.
Having bagged the 2017 season’s two biggest staying handicap prizes, the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury and the Welsh National at Chepstow, Native River claimed victory over an inadequate trip at Newbury on his penultimate start before the festival.
Native River was then sent off second favourite to land the 2017 event but winner Sizing John, who had been campaigned over two miles for most of the season, sped away from Native River as the race reached its crunch point and, despite closing the gap, the finishing line came a furlong too soon for Tizzard’s charge.
We’ve absolutely no doubt that the way the 2017 race panned out would have played right into the hands of winner Sizing John, so the fact Native River got so close is to his credit.
The 2018 race promises to contain a number of known front runners, no least of which is Nicky Henderson’s Might Bite, so should be run at a much better gallop – which should play to Native River’s stamina-laden strengths.
With a lighter campaign geared around a repeat bid next season and a change of tactics, going from home sooner to make the most of his stamina, Native River can make it second time lucky in the Gold Cup 2018.
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