27-12-2016 Welsh Grand National Racing News

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Published: 3rd January 2017


Welsh Grand Nationals run on going featuring the word ‘good’ in the description are not unheard of – we have had four of them since the turn of the century – but they have certainly been a rarer occurrence in recent years, with the going being either soft or heavy by Timeform’s reckoning in the last seven renewals.

The weather gods seem to be on Colin Tizzard’s side, as the going at Chepstow is currently good to soft (as of Thursday afternoon), with only some moderate rain forecast between now and Tuesday.

Native River is able to race off the same mark as he won the Hennessy off due to the conditions of the race, which state that no penalty can increase a horse’s racing weight to more than 11st 12lb.
The horse was due to carry a 4-lb penalty for his Newbury win, but is now effectively 8 lb ‘well-in’ on his official mark.

He has looked a better horse since being partnered by Richard Johnson and reverting to front-running tactics (won the Mildmay on his final start of 2015/16 too), and with such tactics often seen to good effect in the Welsh National, he should be hard to beat.
Carole’s Destrier, who was beaten just half a length by Native River at Newbury. He meets the favourite on the same terms here and is proven over this trip (won the London National at Sandown last season), but Native River was idling in front in the Hennessy and Carole’s Destrier probably needs to find more if the favourite runs his race again.

welsh grand national 2016 image

Others to mention include the lightly-raced Onenightinvienna, who showed smart form last season but unseated in the Grand National on his final start.
He got back on track in a two-runner race at Carlisle last time, however, and remains unexposed.
Last year’s second Firebird Flyer shaped well on his return at Haydock last time behind Three Faces West (conceded a significant head start), and should come on for that, while Royale Knight loves a stamina test and could get involved off a low weight.

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