Soon to be retired trainer Colin Tizzard will field his final runners at Aintree's Grand National meeting this season and he is set to send a top quality team of horses to Liverpool in April.
Spearheading his team is the 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River that yet again showed how good he is, even at the age of 11 as he managed to finish a staying on fourth last time out in what was his fourth consecutive run in Cheltenham feature.
The 11-year-old is now set for his first tilt at the Betway Bowl on Thursday week, with the Tizzard's happy with how he has come out of the Cheltenham festival.
(Credit ATR) Assistant trainer and soon to take over his father's license, Joe Tizzard said: "Native River came out of the Gold Cup fine. He knew he’d had a race, but he’s fine now and in full work.
“The plan is to take him to Aintree for the Bowl, as long as the ground is all right, which I’m sure it will be.
“There’s not a lot of other options for him – he’s not going to go to Punchestown. It will be Aintree and that will be it for the season.”
More disappointing in the Gold Cup this year was Lostintranslation that since his third in the 2020 running of the Cheltenham pinnacle has since struggles at the top level and once again ran poorly being pulled in the Gold Cup.
“We’ve done quite a few tests (since Cheltenham) and nothing really steps out,” said Tizzard.
“He’s not going to go to Aintree. There’s an outside chance he might go to the Menorah Chase at Sandown on the last day of the season and drop down in grade a little bit.
“We can’t quite put our finger on what the problem is, but it’s not quite happening for him at the moment.
“It’s our job to suss it all out.”
Joining these stars will also be other runners Like The Big Breakaway, Fiddlerontheroof and Eldorado Allen who all ran well for the yard at the Cheltenham festival with the first two chasing home Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase and the latter staying on best of the rest to grab second behind Shishkin in the Arkle.
One of the big eye-catchers at the festival for the Tizzard's was Oscar Elite in the Grade One Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle having finished a good second behind winner Vanillier, but ultimately out running his odds of 40/1 and beating some quality horses home.
Tizzard added: “Fiddlerontheroof and The Big Breakaway are both Aintree-bound, as is Eldorado Allen, who will probably step up to two and a half miles (for the Manifesto Novices’ Chase).
“I think we’re going to have to run Fiddlerontheroof and The Big Breakaway against each other again in the three-mile novice (Mildmay Novices’ Chase). It seems a shame, but they both deserve to be there and that race suits them both.
“Oscar Elite will go to Aintree as well for the three-mile novice hurdle on the Friday (Sefton Novices’ Hurdle).“It would be nice to have a winner or two if we can.”