Native River on the way to Gold Cup triumph
THE gold went down to Somerset as trainer Colin Tizzard pocketed a three-timer at Newbury, including what is likely to be the last Hennessy Gold Cup.
The fashion-conscious Cognac brand was wrapping up its sponsorship of the race after 60 years, and Wincanton trainer Tizzard wrapped up the race with favourite Native River snatching victory from Carole's Destrier to give champion jockey Richard Johnson his first Hennessy win. Nicky Henderson’s Hadrian’s Approach was third.
Tizzard. whose Cue Card won last week’s Betfair Chase, sent out Native River as the second of three wins on the day, following rampant favourite Thistlecrack’s win under Tom Scudamore in the bet365 Novices Chase, and prior to completing the treble when Tom O’Brien brought home Ultragold to win the bet365 Handicap Chase.
There was success for Uppe Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex when Harry Bannister won on La Bagye Au Roi in the opening Novices Hurdle, while Alan King, whose 2015 Gold Cup winner Smad Place finished seventh, earned a consolation with Who Dares Wins’ success in the bet365 Intermediate Hurdle.