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Native River headlines Newbury opening race treble

Native River headlines Newbury opening race treble

For the second week in succession, Irish Pointing graduates enhanced their Gold Cup claims, as Native River bounded to a record-breaking success at Newbury on Saturday.

A Dromahane graduate from the Denis Ahern yard, the chestnut gelding returned to the venue of perhaps his greatest success, the 2016-Hennessy Gold Cup, to make his return from a 330-day absence.
 
Making all the running in his customary front-running role under Richard Johnson, the Indian River gelding gradually began to turn on the taps entering the home straight and soon had his two rivals under pressure. 
 
Fencing with real style, the now eight-year-old stayed-on strongly to land the Grade 2 Denman Chase by 12 lengths. 
 
Victory in the £50,000 contest, the first such horse to win the race on two occasions, brings his career earning north of the half a million euros mark, and winning trainer Colin TIzzard now turns his attention to Cheltenham.
 
“He had done plenty and he is a good horse, a lovely horse. 
 
“It is a lovely prep for the Gold Cup and as long as he is alright in the next 10 days, the dream is still alive.”
 
 
Earlier on the card, Talkischeap caused a mild upset as he travelled strongly to land the Betfair Cash Out Handicap Hurdle.
 
The winner of three point-to-points as a four-year-old, the son of Getaway has previously saved his best for quicker spring ground, however he made light work of the testing conditions to score by two and a-quarter lengths for Wayne Hutchinson and Alan King.
 
The six-year-old, who is now a three-time winner under rules, earned himself a quote of 33/1 for the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.
 
The opening race on the Newbury card had seen the progressive Whatswrongwithyou run out an impressive winner at a short price.
 
The son of Bienamado, who chased home Invitation Only as a four-year-old, returned to action 21-months later when scoring impressive at Lingstown for the O’Connor brothers Derek and Paurick.
 
Now under the care of Nicky Henderson, the seven-year-old eased his way to the front at the penultimate flight, before swiftly distancing himself from his rivals to run out a bloodless victor of the 2-mile novices’ hurdle.
 

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