Native River outlasts them all to win the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup
- Author: Stacy Houston Mar 17, 2018,
Mar 17, 2018, 1:26
The Gold Cup is the most prestigious race in the jumps racing calendar and has been won by numerous greats of the racing game. It is the fourth day here and the Irish have been winning everything and we thought our form isn't as good as everyone else's and then Richard Johnson gives that fearless horse that sort of ride and it has paid dividends. I was getting squeezed, but at the second-last and the last he just wanted it so much.
After they jumped the last fence, Native River and Might Bite were neck and neck, but Johnson got a kick out of the Colin Tizzard-trained horse on the uphill finish and Native River won by 4 1/2 lengths - a year after finishing third in the race.
For Johnson, it was a significant triumph 18 years after he won the race for the first time aboard Looks Like Trouble.
Native River had finished second previous year, but held off Nicky Henderson's Might Bite in a fascinating joust up the hill to complete momentous day for trainer Colin Tizzard, who celebrated a first Gold Cup success.
Native River ($6) showed terrific fight over the 5400m journey, overcoming $5 favourite Might Bite in the final stages under champion jockey Richard Johnson.
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NATIVE RIVER HELD off the challenge of the favourite, Might Bite (4/1), to claim the 2018 Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. They are two very fearless horses.
'Might Bite came to him and I thought that was it, but he just powered away again. To win the Cheltenham Gold Cup means everything to everyone's life. We've had a wonderful preparation and you think something could go wrong in the race, but it didn't.
"On better ground, stamina wouldn't have been an issue".
'I can't believe it.