Joe Tizzard is praying the rain arrives to allow Native River to make his seasonal reappearance in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree next month.
The 2018 Gold Cup hero had been pencilled in to return to action in Saturday’s Betfair Chase, but connections decided against a trip to Haydock due to the unseasonably good ground.
Providing conditions are suitable, the 11-year-old is likely to be rerouted to the Many Clouds Chase on December 4 – a race he won in 2019 and finished third in last season.
Tizzard, assistant to his father, Colin, said: “We promised ourselves that we would only run Native River in the right conditions this season as he is that bit older now.
“It (Betfair Chase) looks quite a hot race to be running in on ground that would probably be a little bit quicker than ideal.
“Hopefully, the rain will come soon as he is ready to run. The Many Clouds looks the obvious race to go provided the rain comes in time.
“I couldn’t be any happier with him. If the ground was soft at Haydock, he would have been running.”
A day after Native River’s intended comeback, his Haldon Gold Cup-winning stablemate Eldorado Allen is set to bid for further big-race honors in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon.
Tizzard added: “They have put Eldorado Allen up 4lb for his Haldon Gold Cup victory up to a rating of 155.
“It looked like he was crying out for two and a half miles at Exeter and this (Peterborough Chase) looks the obvious route to go.
“Hopefully he is an improving horse as he has been handicapped that way.”