Native River: “He’s progressive and looks the right type for the Hennessy”
PICTURE: John Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
By Richard Birch 8:25AM 27 OCT 2016
AFTER unleashing Thistlecrack over fences Colin Tizzard is ready to unwrap another of his stable stars with Hennessy Gold Cup second favourite Native River poised to warm up over hurdles in the bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby on Saturday.
Last season’s Grade 1 Aintree winner is second favourite at 11-1 with bet365 for the Hennessy, behind 10-1 market leader Avant Tout, and one of three Tizzard possibles for the Newbury showpiece on November 26 along with Theatre Guide, runner-up to Smad Place last year, and Sunday’s Old Roan Chase hero Third Intention.
But first comes a Grade 3 hurdles test for which he is a general 7-1 chance.
“Native River goes to Wetherby for the bet365 Hurdle and then the Hennessy,” said Joe Tizzard, assistant to his father Colin. “He grew again over the summer, and is a big, strong horse. He’s progressive and looks the right type for the Hennessy.”
One of the Tizzards other Hennessy hopefuls, Theatre Guide, will also race at Wetherby’s two-day meeting. “Theatre Guide goes to Wetherby on Friday for the Listed bet365 Handicap Chase,” Tizzard said. “He’s been placed in the Hennessy in the last two years and seems in good form.”
On Third Intention, Tizzard added: “We’ve never got to the bottom of Third Intention and have made an entry for him on the back of his Aintree victory on Sunday. He did everything right and looks back to his best.”
Cue Card, for so long the Tizzard stable standard-bearer, is primed to make his seasonal reappearance in Saturday’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, for which he was a top-priced 8-11 chance on Thursday morning.
“He had a little racecourse gallop recently, and there is no reason why he can’t be as good this year as he was last season,” Tizzard said. “I rode him at home on Saturday, and he felt superb – every bit as good as he did at this stage last year. I’m sure the ground up there will be fine for him and we’re looking forward to seeing him run.”
Cue Card: used last year’s Charlie Hall as a springboard
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Thistlecrack, the 2016 World Hurdle hero, recruited more admirers to his growing fan club with a faultless winning debut over fences at Chepstow on Tuesday.
“He didn’t put a foot wrong and has come out of the race absolutely fine,” Tizzard said. “It couldn’t have gone any better. We were over the moon with him.”
Thistlecrack’s next appearance en route to a planned tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he is as short as 4-1 favourite, is expected to be in a three-mile novice chase on the Saturday of Cheltenham’s Open meeting next month.