Colin Tizzard's Native River could get a surprise entry for this seasons hot King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day if the ground was to be heavy ahead of the contest.
The 2018 Gold Cup winner made a superb start to his nine year old campaign when winning the Grade Two Many Clouds Chase at Aintree over the weekend by a huge margin and that has given his trainer a huge problem heading into the rest of the season.
Native River could now be involved in the Boxing Day showdown at a cost of £10,000 on December 19 and he would then be alongside race favourite Lostintranslation and the veteran Thistlecrack to give Tizzard a star studded team.
(Credit Racing Post) The gold Cup winner would only feature if the ground was testing with the trainer adding: "We've not totally ruled out supplementing him because if we have a really wet month and the field go flat out it would be set up for a stayer to take them at the end.
"It would have to be really soft at Kempton but if it rains everyday between now and Boxing Day he could run. It's an idea that popped up in the last two days. He'll probably run at some point over Christmas regardless and we're not ruling anything out.
"He showed he still had pace at Aintree and we couldn't have dreamt for any more. Richard Johnson rang me yesterday and wanted to have a chat – it's the first time he's ever rung me up. He said Native River felt as good as he did two years ago.
"He's come out of the race well and we just have to make sure he's in the right races right up until the Cheltenham Festival."
He has plenty of targets before he heads to the Gold Cup for the fourth season in a row with the Welsh National at Chepstow also high on his agenda.