Native River – Progressed through the handicap ranks winning both the Hennessy and the Welsh Grand National before pressing the pace and just being pipped for second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the Festival behind Sizing John and Minella Rocco. He had a pretty tough season despite just having four runs over fences and as a 7yo with another year on his back he could be prepared more carefully for a Gold Cup campaign before having a crack at the Grand National.
Colin Tizzard – “He’s not a bad one is he! He shook himself up a bit in the Gold Cup and he is back cantering now and will run around Christmas time. He had a hard season last year so will be a bit careful and what I want to do now is give him his second run in the Gold Cup. He could then end up in the Grand National.”
Unowhatimeanharry – He racked up eight straight wins and looked the dominant force in the staying hurdle division, before looking to run a little flat in the Stayers Hurdle at the Festival, where he managed to finish just third behind Nichols Canyon and Lil Rockerfeller, who was behind him at Ascot in the Long Walk at Ascot and well behind at the Punchestown Festival. He’ll be given a similar but perhaps lighter campaign with the Festival races his target once again.
Harry Fry – “He started last season rated 149 so still had a lot to prove stepping up into senior company, so to win two more Grade 1s was fantastic. Obviously it was bitterly disappointing to get beaten at Cheltenham, which was probably the one week of the year when he wasn’t at his best – they have to be off by only a fraction at that level and it tells, and he wasn’t quite on his A-Game, which is why it was special to see him bounce back at Punchestown. Will follow a very similar programme this time around, starting off at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle, then another go at the Long Walk and the Cleeve at the end of January and back to the Stayer’s Hurdle. He’s just a fantastic horse – it’s extraordinary to think where he’s come from to reach the heights he has. We could never have imagined that in our wildest dreams.”