Saturday, December 26, 2020

Welsh Grand National 2020

With Storm Bella forecast to bring strong winds and heavy showers to much of the country overnight, Chepstow's Welsh National card will do well to survive; the going is currently described as heavy and an inspection is scheduled to take place at 07.45 tomorrow morning.

The Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase is due off at 2.50 and this year is being run in memory of Kim Gingell, daughter of Colin Tizzard, who died in May after a short battle with cancer, aged 43.

The yard has clearly aimed Christmas In April at the race; should the meet go ahead and the horse come home in front, there won't be a dry eye in the house. 

Three weeks ago Secret Reprieve beat The Two Amigos 12 lengths in the Welsh National Trial (Bobo Mac third, Captain Drake fifth) run here over a trip of two miles seven and a half furlongs; the handicapper has since raised Evan Williams' charge four pounds. 

The layers seem to think that's a tad on the lenient side with the gelding generally priced up a 7/2 chance. Only four six-year-olds have won since the war: L'Aventure (2005); Halcon Genelardais (2006); Native River (2016); and Elegant Escape (2018).

For this I like something carrying less than 11-00 that has shown decent form at the track. Last year's selection The Two Amigos ran a fine race from the front but just seemed to run out of petrol after the last, eventually finishing fifth, six lengths behind Prime Venture in fourth.

Prime Venture looks to be Evan Williams' second string but the yard's horses are running well (36% strike rate over the past fortnight). Sent off the outsider of three on seasonal debut at Sedgefield, Prime Venture broke his duck, winning his first chase by 16 lengths; the handicapper has raised him five pounds.

I'd expect Bobo Mac to improve although I'm put off by a comment Tom Symonds made in the Weekender [16-20.12.20]: ' could be something like the Eider would fit in better', the implication being the horse needed time between races. The handler also said: 'He's talented but he needs to be ridden like a ghost in the race.'

Springfield Fox has been well supported but doesn't look entirely straightforward while Dominateur didn't jump with any fluency behind Pym on his seasonal debut at Sandown. 

Vieux Lion Rouge blew away his opponents in the Becher Chase three weeks ago with stablemate Ramses De Teillee disappointing in seventh, beaten over 90 lengths. Ramses didn't jump well that day but his second in this race behind Elegant Escape in 2018 merits every respect.

Prime Venture is the each-way suggestion. Most layers paying five places quote 12/1 this evening; William Hill quote 11/1 and pay seven places. 

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Chepstow failed its 7.45 inspection, waterlogging along the back straight causing the problem. The Welsh National meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday 9th January.