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Welsh Grand National Meeting Preview

Welsh Grand National Meeting Preview

A festive feast of racing continues on Monday and all eyes will be glued to Chepstow when they stage the iconic Welsh Grand National in mid-afternoon. One of the staples of Christmas racing, the Welsh National has attracted a stellar line-up that includes Native River, the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, who is seeking to win this for a second time in the twilight of his career. Racing at Chepstow is from 12.30pm-3.55pm with conditions set to be 'Soft' and the Racing Post have you covered with their preview to all the day's action.



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12.30 - Play Coral 'Racing Super Series' For Free Maiden Hurdle (2m3½f)

Go Sacre Go shaped better on return to action at Ascot last month and could build on that now, with Nicky Henderson putting up 7lb claimer Ben Ffrench Davis to aid his cause, they have potential for sure.

Autonomous Cloud and Buck's Boggle are hurdling debutants from good yards that have shown form in bumpers so they demand attention but CHAVEZ represents the champion trainer Paul Nicholls and is given the nod to shine on his jumping bow.

The Yeats gelding won a bumper here (heavy) in November 2020 and has only had run once since. He flopped at Exeter in January but it's probable something was amiss there. He's had wind surgery since and his Ditcheat handler should have him spot on for his assignment.

Selection: Chavez

Next Best: Autonomous Cloud


1.05 - Watch Racing Online Free With Coral Handicap Chase (2m3½f)

It might pay to be forgiving in regards to the comeback run of ONE FOR ROSIE at Ascot in late October. He has won both starts after going chasing back in the spring, scoring on soft/heavy ground at Leicester and Carlisle, having joined Kim Bailey from Nigel Twiston-Davies.

That Ascot comeback was in a strong Listed event and a mistake around the midpoint did for his chances before he was pulled up by David Bass. This is less demanding and he's going up in trip today with a pair of first-time cheekpieces added. There's potentially more in his locker, if willing to overlook that comeback run.

Paint The Dream shaped nicely in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham last month, having won over C&D previously, and is a possible player back here on the back of a wind op. Pink Legend had a forgettable trip to Aintree three weeks ago and could rebound for the in-form Venetia Williams squad while Evan Williams' runner Golden Whisky likely found the trip too sharp on his visit to Merseyside in November and he will find this much more to his liking. His Sandown run in March hinted that he could be a winner from this mark before long.

Selection: One For Rosie

Next Best: Golden Whisky

1.40 - Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1, 2m)

A dozen runners make this a proper Grade 1 novice event of substance, with five unbeaten records going on the line. FOREVER BLESSED was odds-on at Sandown earlier in the month but, even so, it was a striking performance as he pulled close to 20 lengths clear of re-opposing Romeo Bond in second. He jumped very slickly throughout that contest and that should stand him in good stead now. Harry Fry's charge looks the one to be on.

Forever William won well at Newbury 12 days ago and takes a quick rise in class for Alan King now, while Magistrato and Porticello are solid sorts. Saint Segal, Skycutter and Tease And Seize have combined for five hurdles wins from five attempts, while Saint Riquier is consistent but probably shy of winning at this level.

Selection: Forever Blessed

Next Best: Porticello


2.10 - Coral 'Fail To Finish' Free Bets Handicap Hurdle (2m7½f)

Take Your Time has won both starts since returning from his summer recess and is seemingly appreciating having his stamina drawn out. The handicapper asks for more with a 5lb rise for the win at this venue earlier in the month but a Welsh treble cannot be crossed off.

Geordie Des Champs was back in the winners' circle at Uttoxeter last month for Rebecca Curtis and should give his running, while Al Dancer ran a pleasing race at Sandown recently reverting to hurdles but probably remains high enough in the ratings for now.

Kateson shaped nicely at Aintree on second start for Alistair Ralph but has a stamina query to answer so a chance is taken with BELLS OF PETERBORO. He is a C&D winner already this year and he ran well in third on his seasonal comeback at Ffos Las in November. He does tend to need a run and he's unexposed at this distance, he might make use of the weight he is receiving.

Selection: Bells Of Peterboro

Next Best: Take Your Time

2.50 - Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3, 3m6½f)

Sadly no crowds will be at Chepstow to see this festive cracker and that will be some pity should Native River roll back the years. Colin Tizzard's veteran ran well at Aintree this month but he had a hard race it seemed and this comes just three weeks later. The 2016 winner carries top weight and it would be some effort if he can land this prize again before he celebrates his 12th birthday at the weekend.

The likes of Elegant Escape and Kimberlite Candy are reliable sorts that should go well, while defending champion Secret Reprieve is 6lb higher than when scoring a year ago - the last time he raced. It will take some effort from Evan Williams to have him spot on, but it would be foolish to overlook him. He would become the first back-to-back winner since Bonanza Boy in 1988-89 should he pull it off.

He of course won the Trial here last December before taking this prize and IWILLDOIT might emulate that feat now for Sam Thomas. The trainer is adamant he attempted too much, too soon last season with this horse and it took some time to recover. He thrashed his rivals here at the start of the month by 24 lengths and, if his stamina holds out, he could be a tough nut to crack.

Mighty Thunder stays forever and should give the places a go for in-form Lucinda Russell, while Irish raider The Big Dog is another to be wary of.

Selection: Iwilldoit

Next Best: Secret Reprieve


3.25 - Coral 'Fail To Finish' Free Bets Novices' Limited Handicap Chase (2m7½f)

Brinkley made a perfect start to his chasing career at Huntingdon last month for David Pipe and there should be more in his locker. This is tougher however and he's giving weight to some useful rivals.

IMPERIAL ALCAZAR should find this more attractive having lost a match at Newbury in last month's chasing bow. He was attempting to give weight to a very good mare, who has won in Listed company since, that afternoon and Fergal O'Brien and Paddy Brennan will be hopeful that a more conventional race should suit him.

Pats Fancy and Getaround are capable of improving over fences, but they have to in all probability to snare this prize.

Selection: Imperial Alcazar

Next Best: Brinkley

3.55 - Coral Committed To Safer Gambling Novices' Hurdle (2m)

Seventeen O Four was a 150/1 chance on hurdles bow here over 2m3½f earlier in the month but he made a mockery of those odds in finishing fourth. He was a dual winner on the Flat previously and this drop in trip should suit him. He's on the shortlist.

Halifax, Post No Bills and Thanksforthehelp (stablemate of Seventeen O Four and ridden by stable jockey Tom Scudamore) are all possible improvers but so, too, is MISTER MARBLES for Philip Hobbs.

He was second at Taunton recently behind a useful Paul Nicholls inmate and having been clear of the third there, he's certainly got sound claims of registering today.

Selection: Mister Marbles

Next Best: Seventeen O Four


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