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Cheltenham 2017: Tizzard horses 'thriving' ahead of Gold Cup test

By Ben Burrows

Cue Card and Native River are reported to be thriving at Colin Tizzard's base as the Gold Cup looms at Cheltenham.

The former fell three out 12 months ago when still going well, and although he is now an 11-year-old he showed his current well-being when trotting up in the Ascot Chase last month.

Native River, meanwhile, has been one of the stories of the season to date, winning the Hennessy Gold Cup, Welsh National and Denman Chase.

Tizzard's son and assistant, Joe, said: "Both Native River and Cue Card schooled on Tuesday. I don't think I've ever seen Cue Card school so well it was like he was on springs. Native River was really good, too. I rode Native River myself this morning and he felt superb.

"There is not much between them. They've both had beautiful prep runs and go into the Gold Cup in their best form. All we need now is a bit of luck and what will be will be. I know there's a stat about how long it's been since an 11-year-old has won the Gold Cup, but we look at Cue Card every morning and try to think he's an 11-year-old. We can't see one bit of difference between now and how he was four years ago. He's every bit as enthusiastic."

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