Native River could head to Aintree next
Native River could head to Aintree for a tilt at the Betway Bowl next month, provided that the ground is suitable for him, after finishing fourth in last week's Cheltenham Gold Cup.
It would mark something of a change of protocol for the nine-year-old, who has finished his campaign at the Cheltenham Festival in each of the last three seasons, with his last start at the Grand National Festival coming when winning the Mildmay Novices' Chase back in 2016.
The Cheltenham Gold Cup hoodoo is over for Willie Mullins!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 15, 2019
🏆 Al Boum Photo lands chasing's blue riband 🏆
🏇 Unbeaten this season
🇮🇪 Fourth Irish win in six years
🏇 First success for Mullins after six runners-up #CheltenhamFestival #TheFestival pic.twitter.com/BSVdPpxuoE
However, Native River's owner, Garth Broom, is pleased with how the Cheltenham hero has come out of the Gold Cup, and has hinted that they could attempt to eek out some extra improvement at Aintree with the addition of blinkers.
He said: "I think he would have run better (in the Gold Cup) if it was slightly softer ground.
"He was a bit sluggish away and had to use up so much fuel to get his position that there wasn't a lot left at the end.
"He ran a grand race, though, and I think the race actually 23 seconds quicker this year so probably ran close to last year's form on times.
"He's come out of the race fine and we might run in the Bowl at Aintree next, but we'll have to see how he is and what the ground is like.
"We might put some blinkers on him to get him to travel a bit better."
Related Horse Racing Links
Grand National 2019 News
Find out all the information about the runners and riders in the 2019 Grand National
Grand National 2019: Trainer & Jockey reactions
We round up the reactions from connections of beaten horses in the Randox Health Grand National, following Tiger Roll's historic back-to-back victory yesterday.
Grand National 2019: Where did my horse finish
Want to know where your horse finished in the 2019 Grand National? Find out here with our full A to Z guide to how every horse got on.
Grand National Result 2019: Tiger Roll creates history
Tiger Roll became the first horse since the great Red Rum to win back-to-back renewals of the Grand National for Davy Russell and Gordon Elliott.View all Grand National 2019 News