Plans fluid for Native River
Connections will play a waiting game with Native River but accept that he might not get a prep run before Cheltenham.
The nine-year-old is set to defend his Gold Cup crown at The Festival next month and had hoped for a spin at Newbury this weekend in the Denman Chase.
However, the equine flu scare has put paid to that and it remains to be seen if the Grade 2 contest is rescheduled in the coming days.
If the race is not run then the son of Indian River may have to be content with a racecourse gallop to prepare for Prestbury Park’s blue riband event.
Garth Broom, one half of owners Brocade Racing, said: "I was talking to (trainer) Colin Tizzard about it, and if they rescheduled it at Newbury within about week we would be tempted to run.
"If it was rescheduled at say Ascot or Kempton, where it was right-handed, we wouldn't run him. He is fine, though, and is bouncing, ready to run.
"We are half-thinking we might have to go there without a prep run - which is not ideal, but it's not the end of the world."
Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.