Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The 2023 Welsh Grand National

Festive greetings.

I found a copy of  'This Sporting Life - Gerry Cranham, Photographer' beneath our Christmas tree yesterday and was immediately transported back to those halcyon days of childhood; the result is I haven't spent much time on tomorrow's Welsh National form (2.50 Chepstow).

Twenty are set to face the starter with the bottom eight running from out of the handicap; the going is currently described as good to soft but strong winds and heavy rain are predicted throughout the day.

Fresh from victory in a dramatic renewal of the King George earlier this afternoon, Gavin Sheehan is aboard market leader Super Survivor. 

Jamie Snowden's charge carries a nice racing weight but has just four chase starts to his name. He was no match for stable companion Git Maker at Lingfield last time and prior to that finished behind Autonomous Cloud and Iron Bridge in a novice chase at Uttoxeter in March. 

Nassalam beat Wayfinder over an extended two miles seven furlongs in the trial race at the track 18 days ago. 

Top weight Iwilldoit did it in 2021 and bids to repeat the trick off a mark 13 pounds higher; Dylan Johnston claims seven. 

Since 1997 only four horses have carried more than 11-00 to victory: Halcon Genelardais (11-03 in 2006); Synchronised (11-06 in 2010); Native River (11-12 in 2016); and Elegant Escape (11-08 in 2018).

The Big Breakaway was second in this race last year (Truckers Lodge fourth, The Galloping Bear a faller and Wayfinder pulled up) but Joe Tizzard's charge has failed to complete in three of his four subsequent starts; last time he was pulled up behind Chambard in the Becher.

Only The Bold will relish testing ground but it's difficult to glean much hope from his two runs over hurdles last month.

Truckers Lodge, winner of the London National at Sandown 18 days ago, has placed in three of the past four renewals of this race. 

Course winner Amateur finished third behind Truckers Lodge in the West Wales National at Ffos Las in April, beaten just over four lengths in receipt of three pounds on soft ground.

Tomorrow he receives a stone from that rival, although Freddie Gingell reduces that differential by five pounds.

The profile of John Flint's chaser has an inconsistent look to it and, ideally, he may prefer better ground but at 66/1 with Paddy Power I'm going to take the chance and have a small each-way interest.

Amateur is the each-way selection, 66/1 with Paddy Power paying six places.


TW said...

NASSALAM (FR),168,11.00%
IRON BRIDGE (IRE),164,7.00%
CHAMBARD (FR),162,6.00%
DIDERO VALLIS (FR),164,6.00%
ICEO MADRIK (FR),165,4.00%
WAYFINDER (IRE),163,4.00%
ONLY THE BOLD (IRE),162,3.00%
BLADE RUNNER (FR),158,3.00%
AMATEUR (IRE),164,3.00%
MAX DYNAMO,153,1.00%
NOT SURE (IRE),151,1.00%
DOMAINE DE L'ISLE (FR),152,1.00%

Season's greetings.

I hope Amateur turns out to be an inspired selection.

Autonomous Cloud need's to prove he stays this extended trip, but that aside ticks a lot of boxes and I'll be watching his odds on the Exchanges and should he drift to 10.0 of higher have a nibble [win only].

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

That novice chase at Uttoxeter back in March where Autonomous Cloud beat Iron Bridge and Super Survivor looks a key piece of form, TW.

Good luck!

Sandracer said...

You'll nick anything up to 200 on the exchanges the win. Maybe squeak 10's the 6 places.

q: You stopped sending out the mailer Geedee? I don't receive it.

GeeDee said...


You've asked me a question there - haven't checked the mailer stuff out for quite some time.

When I first set it up, I used a free mailer service which, somewhere along the line, was discontinued so I removed the subscribe via email link.

At the bottom of the main first page there is the Blogger 'Subscribe to: Posts Atom' option; when I click on the link - a RSS feed I think - I'm presented with what looks like a HTML dump -content is in there somewhere but not in a very accessible format.

I'll need to do some spadework - holding of one's breath not advised... :)

Sandracer said...

No worries. I stopped using rss feeds a long time ago too. Amateur went well for 3/4 of the race and seemed to hand the baton off to the winner Nassalam who clearly has been on the Red Bull.

GeeDee said...

A quite remarkable renewal of the Welsh Grand National with Nassalam (9/2jf) imperious, coming home 34 lengths ahead of nearest rival Iron Bridge (8/1).

Jockey Caoilin Quinn took up the running as they entered the home straight and certainly kept his mount up to his work.

He didn't appear to appreciate quite how far clear he was coming to the last and gave supporters a brief scare as the horse nodded on landing before scooting away to claim the prize; the collective gasp from the crowd was clearly audible during the TV commentary.

This victory brought up a treble for trainer Gary Moore who had sent out Salver (5/4f) to win the Juvenile Hurdle earlier on the card and Editeur Du Gite (5/1) to win the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

Just five completed the marathon trip on ground officially described as heavy with Iwilldoit (15/2) third, Not Sure (28/1) fourth and Complete Unknown (10/1) fifth.

I was somewhat surprised to see selection Amateur (50/1) race from the front.

He jumped well in the main and went well for a long way but the game was up turning for home and he was pulled up five out; the rain beforehand would not have helped the cause and I'd imagine the West Wales National at Ffos Las would be on the radar once again.

Connections of Nassalam are aiming considerably higher with the Grand National at Aintree now a realistic proposition.