Colin Tizzard is hoping to sign off from the Cheltenham Festival in style by scooping the feature Gold Cup.
The Dorset trainer, who plans to hand his trainers' licence over to his son Joe in the coming months, saddles Native River and Lostintranslation in the big race at 3.05.
The first-named horse won it in 2018, in the middle of third and fourth places – and Tizzard believes he has a fighting chance of reclaiming his crown.
“I’m sure if he was eight he’d be in the top three in the betting," he said.
"He’s in properly cracking form, and our horses are running well at the moment.
"I wouldn’t dismiss Lostintranslation, either – he’s in great form, the best I can remember in fact. It’s an exciting time.
“Native River is a class horse and we know he stays three miles, two furlongs.
"Lostintranslation – I am sure you will see turning in as though he might win it, but as we’ve seen here, horses have got to get up this hill, and I’d say Native River of the two.”
Tizzard confirmed he would continue to help out at the family's yard, amid the name change over the door to Joe.
He added: “I am not retiring – I shall be helping Joe – but it’s the right time.
"I’m 65, I left school at 15 and have worked between 50 and 60 hours a week for 50 years – I don’t want to have to work every day anymore.
"We’ve had a hard winter and losing Kim (his daughter, who died of cancer last May) hasn’t helped one iota.
“Joe is the right age for the business and I’ve been really happy since I announced it."
Tizzard, who will see his two runners clash with hat-trick seeker Al Boum Photo and Rachael Blackmore's mount A Plus Tard, said Cue Card gave him his greatest day at the flagship meeting.
With Joe in the saddle, he took the 2010 Champion Bumper and multiple Grade 1 races thereafter.
“I remember watching him walk around the pre-parade ring," he said.
"He was a little four-year-old. Willie Mullins had six six-year-olds in it, and someone asked me why I was running that lovely four-year-old in this race?
“That made me start to wonder, actually. I said to Joe he had to hold him up.
"He didn’t want to, but he did for about half a circuit.
"The way he ran up the hill – it made the back of my neck go stiff. He was fantastic.
"The Native River Gold Cup was nearly as good, but Cue Card’s bumper was the one.”
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