|Grade 1, Haydock Park 15:00
3m 1f 125y, Class 1
|Saturday 24th November 2018|
The Colin Tizzard-trained Native River ran out a game winner of the Blue Ribband at Cheltenham in March, leading from pillar to post and seeing off Might Bite in an enduring duel.
The Dorset trainer had elected to take things slowly with Native River last season, with just one winning run in the Denman Chase at Newbury ahead of his Gold Cup success in the Cotswolds.
Assistant trainer Joe Tizzard has confirmed that Native River is back in full training and gearing up for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on 24th November as his return date, with the nine-year-old 3/1 to win that Grade One contest.
There he may clash with Might Bite once more, champion trainer Nicky Henderson having already confirmed his Triple Crown aspirations, alongside last year's Haydock winner Bristol De Mai for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies.
"Native River will go straight to Haydock. He's galloping away and looks an absolute picture," Joe Tizzard, assistant trainer to his father Colin, told At The Races.
According to Tizzard, the very best staying chasers should have the same logic in mind when it comes to planning their campaigns.
"The Million is the sort of plan. Those horses, the routes get mapped out for them - Haydock, then the King George and the Gold Cup. That's three obvious targets, and they're spaced out lovely."
The £1m Triple Crown bonus goes to any horse that can win the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day and the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Betfair Chase 2017 (registered as the Lancashire Chase)
£200,000 added, 5yo plus, 3m 1f 125y, Class 1
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Bristol De Mai (FR) 11/10f||D A Jacob
|N A Twiston-Davies||6|
|2nd||57||Cue Card 2/1||Harry Cobden
|C L Tizzard||11|
|3rd||9||Outlander (IRE) 5/1||J W Kennedy
|4th||½||Tea For Two 9/1||Lizzie Kelly
|5th||¾||Traffic Fluide (FR) 28/1||Joshua Moore
|G L Moore||7|
|PU||Shantou Flyer (IRE) 50/1||Adam Wedge