Friday, January 07, 2011

Chepstow's Welsh National card

With Sandown's Tolworth fixture subject to a 7.30 inspection tomorrow morning, I've concentrated on Chepstow's Welsh National card.

Twenty have been declared for the feature which will be run over a distance just shy of three and three quarter miles on ground that is likely to be testing in the extreme. Over the past ten years only one horse has carried more than eleven stones to victory (Halcon Genelardais in 2006) and six of those ten winners have carried less than ten and a half stone. One favourite has obliged during the same time period, Silver Birch in 2004. Many think Synchronised is a good thing but I've been on the lookout for something carrying a racing weight at an each-way price. I'moncloudnine from Neil Mulholland's in-form yard fits the bill; however in a recent stable tour article the handler told us his charge is entered here as the owners are from the area but the bay gelding would prefer decent jumping ground - the plan appears to be the National next April. I'm undecided on which of Victor Dartnall's pair to go for - both would have a decent chance on their best form but both are prone to the odd jumping error here and there. Of the two Exmoor Ranger finished third behind Midnight Chase the last time but carries his share of weight here while Giles Cross ran well for a fair way before being pulled on his seasonal debut. In the week I saw a comment from the handler that indicated very soft / heavy ground was more likely to suit Giles Cross, so I'm going to take a small each-way interest in course winner Giles Cross.

The top two in the ante-post market for the Triumph Hurdle take each other on in the 1.10. On ratings Sam Winner is the one to beat and is priced accordingly. Alan King has indicated in the Weekender that Smad Place missed an engagement at Newbury last week after connections weren't 100% satisfied with the way their charge had scoped; nonetheless a big run is expected tomorow. In Thursday's Times Milton Harris admitted to 'aiming high' with Royal And Ancient but Marsh Warbler is a favourite of Brian Ellison - the Malton handler boasts a 25% strike-rate over the past fortnight. Houblon Des Obeaux will like the ground but appears to have a stiff introduction to British racing here - writing on his blog jockey Aidan Coleman advises a watching brief on this occasion. As a play against the odds-on favourite, I'll chance Marsh Warbler each-way provided eight make it to the start - Victor Chandler and Paddy Power both offer 8/1 this evening but Coral go 5/1.

Only seven in the opener but it looks trappy so I'm not going to get involved. Big Knickers goes in the maiden hurdle (2.50) and is a favourite of mine as, if nothing else, the mare provides me with an opportunity to rattle out the old schoolby gags... Having said that, Neil Mulholland's charge isn't without ability. Her last run can be safely ignored as the trainer has told us she was 'over-trained' for her hurdling debut at Worcester. She has been given time to recover from that and will appreciate the underfoot conditions here - Big Knickers should warrant an each-way interest...

In the concluding bumper Saint Luke has to concede seven pounds to all his rivals which won't be an easy task in the ground. Tenby Jewel was well beaten at Fontwell earlier today (and may not run here) so for those who want to oppose, Dai Burchell's point to point winner Beat All Out is the suggestion.


GeeDee said...

Just for a moment I dared to think Giles Cross (12/1), clear three out, could win the Welsh National but McCoy was in the process of getting a tune from Synchronised (5/1) and Synchronised it was who took the spoils by two and threequarter lengths from the selection. Considering Neil Mulholland's comments I'moncloudnine ran a really good race to finish a further nine lengths back in third - there may be more to come from this one on better ground.

Marsh Warbler (8/1) made it from the front and although looking in trouble three out the gelding stayed on really well to win from Houblon Des Obeaux (22/1) and Smad Place (9/4) with Sam Winner (8/13f) disappointing in fourth. The winner likes the soft ground and is quoted a 12/1 chance for the Triumph but he's unlikely to line up if the going is on the quick side.

Much to my disappointment Big Knickers (33/1) ran something of an innocuous race in midfield before weakening to finish eighth; I was even denied the small consolation of being able to write 'Big Knickers - pulled up.'

In the finale odds-on favourite Saint Luke (4/5f) held on by a head but it was Noble Perk (11/1) who threw down the determined challenge to the winner. Selection Don't Hang Around (10/1) came home eight lengths adrift of the front pair in third.

GeeDee said...

Correction: Selection Beat All Out (4/1) finished *fifth* in the concluding bumper.

I must stop drinking while blogging... Hic.

Reamonnt said...

Your blog is very good and I always check it for your comments, thanks and keep up the good work


GeeDee said...

Many thanks for your comment, Ray.

Plenty of losers with some winners thrown in here and there - you'll note I'm still working for a living... ;)