• Garth Broom explains why Native River may not appear in National

    Garth Broom, owner of second-favourite Grand National entry Native River, has been warning punters that they should wait until after the Cheltenham Festival before they consider backing Native River in the 2020 Randox Health Grand National, the winner of the 2018 Gold Cup deemed to be an ‘unlikely’ runner in the famous steeplechase.

    The warning comes following reports that leading bookmaker Paddy Power – who are offering ‘non-runner no-bet’ on the 2020 Grand National – have been receiving ‘sustained support’ for Native River who is also set to make another appearance in the Gold Cup next month, this firm cutting the odds from 10/1 to 8/1 as a result.

    This adds more uncertainty to a Grand National betting market headed by 5/1 shot Tiger Roll who is also an uncertainty for the race following the revealing of the weights on Tuesday afternoon, Gigginstown racing manager Eddie O’Leary saying that he was “very disappointed” that the two-time winner was allotted a mark of 170.

    Broom acknowledged that Native Runner had received a competitive 166 mark and a weight of 11st 6lb, however he was completely non-committal with regard to whether or not he would aim the runner towards Aintree on April 4th. He said: “We are not ruling it out completely but I think it’s unlikely and I wouldn’t go saying anyone should back him for the Grand National until after the Gold Cup.

    “I think he has been dealt with fairly and have no complaints about his weight – I think it’s very reasonable.

    “We have to get the Gold Cup over first and see how he comes out of it. If he puts everything into the Gold Cup as he has done before, then, if you look, he has not run again after his Gold Cup efforts.”