Native River wins the Gold Cup after eipc duel with Might Bite

Filed on 17 Mar 2018 @ 15:18

Trainer Colin Tizzard teamed up with champion jockey Richard Johnson to land Friday's Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup with Native River.

The 5/1 winner made the running until headed briefly at the second-last fence by 4/1 favourite Might Bite, but he was soon back on terms and pulled clear on the run-in to score by four and a half lengths. Four lengths behind Might Bite was Anibale Fly, 33/1.

Tizzard fought back tears when saying: "It's unreal. It's the fourth day and the Irish have been winning everything - I was thinking our form is not as good as we imagined. Then Richard Johnson gives that brave horse that sort of ride and everything changes.

"When Might Bite came alongside, and might even have headed him, I thought oh, no, but then Richard was brilliant. You wouldn't tell him what to do, because he knew what he was going to do a week ago.

"He [Native River] wasn't quite right after Cheltenham last year [he was third in this race] and we couldn't get him going any earlier this season. We made a plan to give him one run at Newbury before coming here, but I was getting a bit jumpy at Christmas and thought we ought to run him then. However, we stuck to the plan and it's paid off.

Filed on 17 Mar 2018 @ 15:18