Connections of Native River are praying the ground is soft enough to enable the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner to run in this month’s Betfair Chase at Haydock – with no obvious “Plan B” available.
Trainer Colin Tizzard wants to keep the eight-year-old busier this season, with his finest hour coming on just his second start last term.
But as owner Garth Broom explained, were he to miss Haydock on November 24, there is no obvious alternative before the King George at Kempton.
“Native River is fine at the moment – we’ve just got to make sure that the ground is OK at Haydock,” said Broom, who owns the horse with his wife Anne.
“The ground has to be safe for him, because we can’t risk him on anything too fast.”
Gold Cup runner-up Might Bite is reportedly also on course for Haydock, and Broom added: “We’ll take anything on, and we’re not shying away from it – but then again we’ve not got much choice.
“It’s not quite a mini-Gold Cup – but a fair few of the main contenders will be there, I suppose.
“We have no Plan B at the minute (if he doesn’t go to Haydock).”