The Cheltenham Gold Cup is everything in everyone's life and there's no pretending it's not.
He's been a fantastic horse for me and I was lucky to pick up the ride on him. Johnson has won two Gold Cups, beginning with the 2000 running with Looks Like Trouble.
Trainer Colin Tizzard was effusive in his praise of both Native River and Johnson after the race.
However, last year's third Native River is going somewhat under the radar despite being the 4/1 second favourite. They are two very fearless horses.
The condition of the turf course was not ideal for Might Bite, who won the Grade 1 King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on December 26 to establish his status as the Gold Cup favorite.
Might Bite 6-4fav (11-10) With leader, led 10th to 11th, led again 4 out, pushed along next, ridden approaching last, stayed on well, won at Kempton 3m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec beating Double Shuffle (11-10) by 1l, 8 ran.
But Native River rallied to hold off his rival by 4-1/2 lengths.
Henderson had trained the winners of the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase earlier in the week.
"Some people will know I'm not the most intelligent in the world, so keeping it simple is the best way forward for me". "It was the right thing to do to take him on".
Might Bite was so close to delivering what would have been an historic success for Henderson.
"It is the hardest race of the season as you get horses like Sizing John who can travel and then show pace at the end".
Native River won his owners 369,822 pounds ($515,000).
The pair are expected to resume their rivalry in next year's Gold Cup, with Native River already priced as a $6 favourite. On Friday, he was troubled by one horse in the Gold Cup and was alone at the finish.
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