Native River’s participation in Saturday’s Virgin Bet Price Boosts Many Clouds Chase at Aintree on Saturday could be determined by the ground.
Colin Tizzard’s 2018 Gold Cup winner put up a brave defence of his crown in March when fourth behind Al Boum Photo.
His big aim in the first half of this season in the Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27, a race he won in 2016, but having come to hand quicker than expected, Tizzard has given him the option of running this weekend first.
“I haven’t heard either way from Colin yet, but he had a racecourse gallop on Sunday at Newbury, so I’m waiting to hear how he feels about running,” said owner Garth Broome.
“He’s definitely going to the Welsh National, all being well, but we didn’t think he’d be ready for this race.
“However, Colin said he was coming to hand a lot quicker than he thought he might, so he took him for a gallop and he’s just weighing up a few things.
“The ground being softer this year has helped, but it would need to be fairly soft for him to run so it’s still up in the air.
“The conditions of the race are perfect, he doesn’t have a penalty, so we did pick the race out a while ago, but we didn’t think he’d be ready.
“Colin said he’s coming along quicker than expected, he was pleased with the gallop, but it just depends on a few things. I’ve got horses in at three different meetings, so I don’t know where I might end up yet.”