Colin Tizzard considering Bowl bid with both Cue Card and Native River

Monday, Mar 20 2017

Colin Tizzard is open to the possibility of Cue Card and Native River locking horns for a second time at Aintree next month.

The stable companions were towards the forefront of the betting for Friday's Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Cue Card falling at the third-last fence for the second year in succession and Native River running a fine race in defeat to finish third.

Both horses are reported to have taken those exertions well and could be in line for a rematch in the Betway Bowl on Merseyside, although Cue Card also has the option of the shorter Melling Chase.

Tizzard said: "Both horses had a canter this morning and they're absolutely fine.

"Cue Card didn't look like he was going to win when he came down, but if you watch the replay of last year's race he didn't look to be going anywhere at the fourth-last and then at the third-last it looked like he'd just jumped in.

"He wasn't going as well as last year, but he's come back fine and that's the main thing.

"The other horse (Native River) ran his race, I think. He got nutted for second and the winner (Sizing John) is a very good horse.

"We'll see how they are nearer the time, but they could both go to Aintree, or one might wait for Punchestown.

"There's a lot of prize-money on offer, so I wouldn't be against running the two against each other again.

"Having said that, we know Cue Card is effective over two and a half miles as well, so he has that option (Melling Chase) at Aintree, too."

Tizzard came within a head of landing the Queen Mother Champion Chase, with the strong-finishing Fox Norton only narrowly denied by Special Tiara.

He could step up in distance in the Melling Chase at Aintree.

"It was such a busy week at Cheltenham and you don't have time to think while it's going on, so we're just getting over it now," Tizzard added.

"Fox Norton is fine. We did have him entered in the Ryanair as well as the Champion Chase and the way he stayed on so well, you wouldn't be worried about stepping up in distance.

"But all we're concentrating on at the moment is keeping the horses fit and well. Unless they're 100 per cent, they won't go anywhere."

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