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River can make Gold Cup splash but won't figure in National

By Nick Robson

Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National hero Native River has not been entered for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on April 8.

The impressive seven-year-old had been prominent in the betting, but trainer Colin Tizzard said: "He was never going to be entered. His owners have categorically said, 'No'."

Native River is currently second favourite behind stablemate Thistlecrack for the Cheltenham Gold Cup on March 17.

Tizzard has, however, entered French import Alary for the National, which has this year attracted 110 entries.

Connections of Maggio, who carries the same silks as 2013 winner Auroras Encore, hope to make it "third-time lucky" after twice missing the cut.

Trainer Patrick Griffin at least gained compensation at last season's National meeting when the 12-year-old dotted up in a Listed race.

James Griffin, assistant trainer to his father, said: "We missed it by seven two seasons ago and Maggio was fourth reserve last year, so hopefully it is third-time lucky.

"He ran really well at Christmas and will now head to Kelso for the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase on February 16, two days after the weights come out," he added.

Ulsterman Brian Hughes could be in line for the ride.

Don Poli, trained by Gordon Elliott, is at the head of the market and headlines 16 entries for Gigginstown, who won last year with Rule The World. Weights will be revealed on February 14.

CHELMSFORD: 5.50 Magic City, 6.25 Kingthistle, 7.00 Ebony N Ivory, 7.30 El Campeon, 8.00 Angel Of Darkness, 8.30 La Fortuna, 9.00 In The Spotlight.

CLONMEL: 1.20 Fintara, 1.50 Berry Des Aulmes, 2.25 Monalee, 3.00 Like A Demon, 3.35 Upazo, 4.10 Fluspar, 4.40 Captain Bizarro.

SOUTHWELL: 1.45 Pearl Noir, 2.20 Footlight, 2.55 My Renaissance, 3.30 Esteaming, 4.05 Shearian, 4.35 Vroom.

TOWCESTER: 1.35 Top Ville Ben, 2.10 Eaton Rock, 2.45 Pink Gin, 3.20 Quill Street, 3.55 Shy John, 4.25 Ypsilanti.

WINCANTON: 1.25 AZZURI (NAP), 2.00 Baby King, 2.35 Hitherjacques Lady, 3.10 River Frost, 3.45 Pilgrims Bay, 4.15 Ask The Weatherman, 4.45 Dark Invader.

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