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2018 G1 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup -further reaction from connections

Press Release 16th March 2018 Cheltenham

Champion Jump jockey Richard Johnson, riding his second Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup winner 18 years after the first in Looks Like Trouble, said: "It was brilliant.
"Native River is a fantastic ride - he jumped great and answered every question I asked.
"He is so genuine and the Tizzards, all the team and the owners gave him a chance this season to have a late start and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup was always the aim.
"Full credit to them for bringing Native River here 110 per cent.
"You could not ask for a better partner - I have not got any brains and I don't think he has too many but he always goes the right way.
"I was lucky enough to win this race 18 years ago and it was all a bit of a shock - I want to make sure I enjoy today."
Kim Tizzard, an assistant trainer to her father, remarked: "This does not happen to us!
"But it is a magical day and a lot of hard work - it is brilliant."
Joe Tizzard, another assistant trainer to his father, declared: "In all fairness, it was the right two in the right place all the way.
"It looked like Might Bite was going to outclass Native River maybe, but he dug deep and he's a tough horse. It's unbelievable. All credit to Dickie, he set the fractions. This is massive.
"We have had the perfect prep and there were no excuses. We haven't missed a day since August and it was all about Newbury - the weather might have stopped Newbury - but it has gone completely to plan. Dad and I stood on the gallops yesterday morning just to make sure that his final canter was right.
"It has been a tough three days. Horses that you think have a chance have finished placed and we have been delighted, but it takes a different horse to win. We had a bit of a shock win in the earlier race, but this was our best chance of the week."
Garth Broom of part owners Brocade Racing, declared: "We are really going to take this in and enjoy it because it is not often dreams come true.
"We have been second and third with Native River here before. For him to make all from start to finish and his jumping - he has got everything.
"Richard Johnson is marvellous. Those two are made for each other. All the work Colin's done getting him spot on for the day, giving him just one run. All the staff have been tremendous and we could not have done it without them."
Nico de Boinville, rider of the second, 4/1 favourite Might Bite, said: "The rain just came at the wrong moment for us. Might Bite has run a cracking race though and that's taking nothing away from the winner - he is a true champion, to have ground it out on that ground.
"I guess Colin Tizzard fully deserved it, bringing that horse back from such a long lay-off and producing him like that. Take nothing away from our lad, he has run a terrific and the ground just found us out from the last to the line.
"I think we got our head in front winging the last and then the ground on that track is the worst from the last to the line. We have just tied up on it, pure and simple.
"In hindsight, I don't think that I could have done more because if I had kicked sooner, I think that we would have been beaten further and if I had waited longer, who knows? It's not a question I like to ask.
"We are happy with the horse. He has come back safe and sound, so that's great news."


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