CHELTENHAM Gold Cup winner Native River is 'full of himself' and ready to roll back the years in Saturday's Cotswold Chase.
Colin Tizzard's old-timer was an admirable third on his comeback from injury at Aintree in December.
And he heads back to the scene of his biggest success this weekend, nearly three years after he beat Might Bite in the Gold Cup under Richard Johnson.
He is 11-years-old now, but owner Garth Broom reckons the fire is burning as bright as ever.
He said: "We know he'll go in the heavy ground at least, so that will be in his favour.
"I thought he ran really well at Aintree first time out. If they hadn't taken all the fences out (for low sun) I think he'd probably have won, but that's just my opinion.
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"He had Frodon well behind him, and he came out and won the King George.
"Considering it was almost a Flat race, I thought he acquitted himself really well.
"He might be 11, but he's never been over-raced. If they are running in the top class and in testing conditions you can't run them too often."
Native River is a 10-3 shot with big-race sponsors Paddy Power behind Bristol De Mai (2-1) and Santini (9-4).
Broom continued: "Even if Santini doesn't run there's still Bristol De Mai, who will like the ground, but he seems to be very well – from what we can see anyway!
"We keep having videos sent to us, because we can't go to see him at the moment of course.
"He seems full of himself on the gallops. He's 11 now, so we can't expect miracles – but I hope he runs well, and then it's on to the Gold Cup."
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