Owner Garth Broom has revealed Native River will be kept away from competitive action until the spring with the focus on a shot at the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Native River continued his impressive form at Newbury last time out, winning the Hennessey Gold Cup by just half a length from Carole’s Destrier in second.
The six-year-old has now racked up two victories from his last three outings, having triumphed at Aintree in a Grade One Novices’ Chase before ending up second at Wetherby in the Yorkshire Hurdle.
Attentions are now turning towards a possible challenge for the Gold Cup at Prestbury Park in March next year and the chestnut gelding is currently priced at 17.00 to win the coveted race.
Trainer Colin Tizzard is putting together a quality line-up for the meeting with Native River the long shot of his three horses that are set to feature at Cheltenham.
Thistlecrack is the 4.00 favourite while stablemate Cue Card, who won the 2015 King George VI Chase, is next in the betting at 7.00.
Broom has now revealed the plans being set out for Native River as the team look to get their charge fully primed for the Gold Cup.
“I think the aim is the Gold Cup and we’ll find a race in between,” he told At The Races. “He’ll have a good break now because you don’t have an easy time of it in the Hennessy.
“A lot of people forget he was the youngest in the race – he’s only six. Some have said the Grand National but he’s got to mature.
He won’t be out this side of Christmas. We’ll try and find something in the spring and we’ve got to go for the Gold Cup.”