Friday, 8 January 2016

Welsh Grand National



Paul Nicholls had said earlier in the week that all his horses were 100% and so it proved on Friday with 3 winners from 3 runners at Doncaster.
Nicholls is often criticised for building up his horses up too much and then they they don't run up to his aspirations - but as a trainer you have to keep all the owners happy and on board and with so many horses in the stable I would imagine it's very difficult to keep all the owners optimistic for the whole season.
Nick Schofield and Harry Cobden go to Chepstow whilst Sam Twiston Davies seeks some further winners at Kempton - however I'm just concerning myself with Chepstow.

Like Nicholls, Dan Skelton has been having a lean time of late and he takes the weekend off and has his next entries on Tuesday.

Chepstow
1.45 Coral Welsh Grand National

Black Thunder was a consistent performer in top company last season but he falls just below the very top. He picked up a hairline fracture of his hind cannonbone at the festival last March and he returned at Cheltenham on 14/11 in the Grade 3 Murphy Group handicap chase over 3m 3f 71y where he finished 12th of 17 behind Sausalito Sunrise. Now in his third season over the larger obstacles staying trips look to be his forte as is soft going and he will be a familiar name in the Nationals this season. However Nicholls thinks that he is presently too high in the handicap on a rating of 152c but that is dealt with by Harry Cobden's 7lb claim and you could say he is effectively on 145 here and that is 4lb below his rating when he was half length second in the Grade 3 United House Gold Cup at Ascot last season so he has every chance and 16/1 price is too big to ignore.

Benvolio was beaten the narrowest of short heads in last seasons Welsh National and that is his target again. He needs soft going to show his best as he stays longer than the mother in law so he's back in his element here. He is on the same mark as last year of 139c so there's every chance of another bold run with the stables runners looking as though they might be returning to normal service. He is also a 20/1 shot so he's worth an ew punt too in what is an open race.

2.20 Adrien Du Pont won on his debut for the stable after being awarded the race when a short head second to the useful Sceau Royal the pair being 16 lengths clear of Shy Lino. He is a potential chaser of the future however he should keep on improving over hurdles. On his last run he met Sceau Royal again and that time he was unable to get the win. He should run well and may be up to winning.

Bets
Black Thunder 0.50 points ew at 16/1
Benvolio 0.50 points ew at 20/1


1 comment:

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