Welsh National 2016

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  • #1273688
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    Entries are out now………..

    http://www.racingpost.com/horses2/cards/card.sd?race_id=662159&r_date=2016-12-27&big_race=Y&raceTabs=#raceTabs=lc_

    Always difficult to take a strong early view in this, with many holding multiple entries for other races, with like of The Hennessy, The Becher, and The Paddy Power all on the horizon.

    To be honest, not that bowled over by the entries this year, though that might have a lot to do with Otago Trail missing from the list, he was a long term fancy of mine for this, and I was very keen on him.

    The other horse I had in mind for this was Another Hero, and I’m pleased to see him in there. I thought he had a serious chance at Fairyhouse, but unfortunately he came down on the first circuit. His run at Chepstow last month though, was much more like it, and he wasn’t given “too hard a time” :whistle: and I’m happy that he’s being prepped for a big target. He travelled very well that day, and always happy to see a horse take to Chepstow, as I always get the impression that some horse just don’t like it. I’m on at 20’s & 25’s, as well as up to 34’s on the exchange.

    After a long barren spell in this race, I’ve managed to nab the last 2 winners, Emperors Choice & Mountainous, who could both figure again. I formed a “book” on those 2 occasions, and the price for Emperors Choice in the lead up was very welcome. Looking at the entries this time though, I may just stick with the one in the lead up.

    Emperors Choice might still be a tad high in the weights, but he could easily run his race, and the 22’s with Betway looks big. He’s dangerous to write off here, and that certainly applies to the other entries from the Venetia Williams yard. As I said, I thought her Otago Trail was major player in this, and I just wonder whether he’s missing as she has something eles primed for this. Her old stalwarts in these type of races, Rigadin De Beachene & Houblon Des Obeaux, both get an entry. I’ve bet both of these guys many times in the past, and I sometimes feel as if I have a share in them. Rigadin ran well for a long way on Saturday, and he’s now regularly on a winnable mark, rather than running in the high 140’s :unsure: He’s very big, and very tempting, at 33’s. We’ll probably know where Houblon is at, after Newbury on Saturday. He has many big runs to his name, and is the probably the classiest of her entries. A big run in The Hennessy, at a track he has a good record, would probably leave him out of this this, as he’s off 153 at the moment. 25’s seems about right form him. That can’t be said about Saroque though, and the 33’s seems big, considering he placed in this last year. He looks a realistic each way candidate, certainly considering he could be more than 6lbs lower this time around. Her final entry is the very interesting Waldorf Salad. Was fairly consistent last season, and rounded off last season with a win at the track. I like the look of him, he’ll come here with a nice weight, and he’s one I’m actually considering. He looks very big at 33’s.

    Mountainous would probably need it very soft again, and he also looks high enough in the weights. Kerry Lee had a season to remember, and much like Venetia, her runners seem to revel in the mud. Along with Mountainous, she has 6 others entered up, in the shape of Goodtoknow, Krackatoa King, Classic Chase winner Russe Blanc, Betfred National Trial Winner, Bishops Road, Alfie Spinner, and Altiepix. Of those, Alfie Spinner is the one that catches the eye. He’s nearing 12, and he’s thoroughly exposed, but I just wonder if she can coax one more big run from the old boy. She managed to win with him at Ffos Las last year, having got him from Nick Williams, and with him still being relatively low in the weights, he makes some each way appeal at 40’s.

    Filling the places behind Mountainous last year, along with Saroque, were Firebird Flyer & Shotgun Paddy. Firebird Flyer went on land The Midlands National, albeit he was very fortunate, and he had nice warm up at Haydock on Saturday. A shade high in the weights perhaps, but his season will surely revolve around this prize, and should run his race. Shotgun Paddy does look weighted to take a hand again, though he is hard to predict, and also ran a stinker in this 2 years ago. For all he ran fairly well last time, it was reported that he bled, so makes no appeal at this stage at least, off the back of that news.

    Paul Nicholls has plenty in the line up, namely…..

    Unioniste
    Southfield Theatre
    Saphir Du Rheu
    Vicente
    Virak
    Vivaldi Collonges
    Arpege D’Alene

    It’s hard to see Saphir head for this, while Vicente could easily figure at Newbury on Saturday, which would make landing this, considerably more difficult. Vivaldi Collonges was very disappointing last time, and Virak, may just need some respite from the handicapper, for all that he’s solid horse. Arpege is an interesting contender though, and would be interesting to see what weight he gets. Southfield Theatre would have landed The Badger Ales last time, but for tipping up at the last, so we know he’s back in form. The only question mark would be the weight? He is very big at 33’s though, regardless of the weight. He probably appeals as much as any from the champion trainer, though my overall preference from the yard would be Unioniste. Falling down the weights again, and that’s normally the signal for him to land a nice prize after being written off. His last 2 wins have been off of 148 & 149, but he could come here off of 145, and despite having done the rounds, he had his first visit to Chepstow last month. Was it a sighter? At 25’s, I’m tempted to find out.

    There’s a few interesting contenders from across The Irish Sea, but I’ll leave them for now, and give any who make the trip, a second look, nearer the time.

    Warrantor was a big eyecatcher at Cheltenham last time, and no surprise to see him near the head of the market after that.

    I was gutted when O’Faolains Boy was scratched from The Hennessy, after meeting a setback, and I was very keen. He’s being aimed at Aintree now, and I’m not sure a hard race here, or a win, will be what they want, and he’s on a nice enough mark as it is for that. Nonetheless, he’s a talented horse on his day, hence the relatively short odds of 16’s.

    Lucinda Russell has a decent record in these big chases, and should One For Arthur make the long trip south, then write him off at your peril. His last run doesn’t scream 40-1 shot to me.

    Talking of 40-1 shots, Cloudy Too, looks overpriced, considering he got back to winning ways over hurdles at the weekend. Took the scenic route at Bangor a couple of weeks back in the big handicap at Bangor, and trainer Sue Smith, has manged to get him back to the mark he won The Peter Marsh off of. Considered good enough to run in The Gold Cup, that 40’s is very, very generous with Hills.

    As mentioned, the Jonjo/JP combo are responsible for my main fancy Another Hero, but they are also represented by Shutthefrontdoor, Upswing, and current market leader Minella Rocco. No surprise to see Minella at the head of the betting. He had a very pleasing comeback at Cheltenham, and this Festival winner could easily mop this up. I think he’s got a serious chance in The Gold Cup should they let him run in it, while his chances at Aintree are obvious. I’d like to see him give this a miss. Upswing was a big fancy in this last year, but he flopped badly, and seemed to go totally of the boil. His run last week at Cheltenham was a step in the right direction though. It’s been a while since STFD ran a decent race, though his last run, where he and stablemate Holywell, ran abysmally, was surely too bad to be true though, and surely part of a prep for a longer term plan. STFD looks increasingly well weighted, though I’m just inclined to think Aintree is that plan, rather than here. Holywell does hold an entry, but it might be better waiting for him in the spring, he’ll surely not get his ground here. Jonjo has a few other entries, including Beg To Differ, who I had this race in mind for, but his last couple of racecourse appearances have been disappointing, and he’s looking increasingly temperamental.

    Onenightinvienna appears to have this as the long term market, and he’s popular in the betting, and I’m sure he’ll appeal to many at 25’s. Sausalito Sunrise made a pleasing comeback last time, behind the very promising Viconte Du Noyer and looks fair at 20’s, though I’m not sure I’d be persevering with him in handicaps. Viconte looks very fair at the same price, that was a nice win last time.

    I’d love to see Midnight Prayer, who was warm order for this last year, before missing the race with a coughing bout, make the race, but he’s very hard to keep sound, and difficult to make a case for Ante-Post. He’s also had 2 hard spins already, so a “wait and see” job for him, while I’m hoping stablemate, Ziga Boy, is being primed for The Becher. Should things not go his way at Aintree, or he gives it a miss altogether, then he’d be very interesting at 33’s. A big price that for a Skybet Chase winner, who’s falling down the weights. I’m not convinced that this test is what the other King entry, Annacotty, needs.

    There’s a 102 entries in total, so that’s enough for now, though must give a quick mention to Viva Steve, who won last time for Fergal O’Brien, and I’m sure the trainer will be sending him here. I think Steve will progress this year into an established staying chaser, and I like him at 25’s.

    Another Hero for me then, at the prices mentioned, and I’ll try hard not to do a “book” this year, and maybe bet one other. We’ll see :mail:

    Of the rest, at this stage anyway, very tempted at the prices by Unioniste, Waldorf Salad, Viva Steve, Cloudy Too, and Alfie Spinner.

    GL

    #1273711
    MarkTT
    MarkTT
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2281

    Excellent post, VTC.

    I’m with Another Hero ( obviously as its why he’s in my 10 To Follow list ) but I’m surprised Fourth Act hasn’t been given an entry.

    There’s a staying chase at the course in a couple of weeks which has been informative in the past

    I don’t really blame Jonjos horses for being a little scitzo – he goes through some bizarre periods of form and many seem to run with their heads bowed. Possibly related to their conditioning but no other top trainer has so many horses who are pulled up or beaten out of sight.

    #1273732
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    Thanks Mark :good:…….hopefully Another Hero can give us a run for our money.

    #1273817

    darren83
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    WALDORF SALAD 33/1 for me bob always a fan of trainer in these big staying handicaps as you know had EMPERORS CHOICE in race few years ago at 33/1 that was opening post in that thread remember it like yesterday.And hope BEG TO DIFFER can get another run in him over hurdles or fences

    Bob any views when Waldorf Salad make his return for season big ask win this race without a run

    #1273829
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    Good luck with him Darren, I might just bet him at the 33’s as well, as he’s entered up at Newbury & Newcastle on Saturday. I remember Emperors well, somehow managing to get 20’s/25’s on the day………….happy days.

    #1273904
    MoyenneCorniche
    MoyenneCorniche
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    • Total Posts 100

    Harry Topper was made for this race with his seemingly limitless stamina,class and love for heavy ground.

    Of course his jumping is always an issue and he will have to lump round a big weight.Would like to see him have a pipe opener before as well ideally but will be having a few quid on him no matter what as he is a horse I have always followed.

    #1273924
    BigG
    BigG
    Participant
    • Total Posts 4557

    You’re in top form this season Bobby, another cracker of a review :good:

    I’ve probably lost more fail to trap ante post bets on this race than on any other.
    I’m definitely going to hold off having a bet, but I’m going to watch COGRY
    very closely in the market. NTD has him entered in the Becher Chase and I wonder if he
    has aspirations of going for the National, in which case he may well skip this. He has
    fallen 3 times, I can’t make up my mind if he is a dodgy jumper or just unlucky. He was
    certainly unlucky when he was brought down in the Betvictor last time out, when travelling
    really nicely, but he did go at the 1st the time before that at Cheltenham. He was running
    on well when he came down 4 out in the Scottish version last year. He does look national type,
    but he needs to clean up his act a bit.

    He’s 20/1 at this time for the Welsh, and I doubt he’d be anywhere near that if he did head there.
    It’s a watching brief from me at the moment, but if he starts shortening I’ll probably chance him
    and hope for the best.

    #1273928
    steeplechasing
    steeplechasing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 5311

    Bobby, you ought to be selling these, my friend. Well done.

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #1273952
    Bobby Bluebell
    Bobby Bluebell
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    • Total Posts 197

    Hear, hear! Tremendous stuff that really wets the appetite. Many thanks :good:

    #1273961
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    • Total Posts 13736

    Cheers Bobby :good:

    #1273962
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    • Total Posts 13736

    Bobby, you ought to be selling these, my friend. Well done.

    lol Joe, don’t think there’d be many buyers.

    #1273963
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    • Total Posts 13736

    You’re in top form this season Bobby, another cracker of a review :good:

    I’ve probably lost more fail to trap ante post bets on this race than on any other.
    I’m definitely going to hold off having a bet, but I’m going to watch COGRY
    very closely in the market.

    Cheers Graham, and good luck with Cogry B-)

    #1273972
    nulty
    nulty
    Participant
    • Total Posts 448

    I’ve a very good record in this race. It’s a race I love both for financial reasons and because I love these staying chasers.

    I’ve tried to find something this evening before Pricewise goes and takes the price on it. After spending just under and hour looking, my problem is there is too many with potential to have a bet at this stage.

    I see now Pricewise must have nominated Racing Pulse and Baie Des Iles, they’re very blue on the odds comparison sites. I can see the case for Racing Pulse having won a novice chase at Chepstow. But the form figures of P0PUB don’t appeal even at this stage. Baie Des Iles ran well in the Irish National last season but this is even more of a test and for a 5yo I don’t think it’s ideal.

    I’d agree that Harry Topper must be of interest. Kim Bailey has said today in his blog that he’s being aimed at the race and I’m sure many of us have been witing for that for a couple of years!

    Mystree is being touted by Michael Scudamore this week after his win at Haydock. He’ll get in the foot of the weights. He beat Chase The Spud who was pulled up in this last year and doesn’t get an entry this time round. Not massively convincing but he has potential.

    Milansbar Is another strong stayer, wants the mud, and even better, is a prominant racer. He was beaten by Firebird Flyer in the Midlands, theres a pull of 3lbs in teh weights there and Milansbar is double the price.

    Waldorf Salad is another interesting one. Too many at this point!

    #1274057
    Venture to Cognac
    Venture to Cognac
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    • Total Posts 13736

    Nulty, I’m surprised Mystree is still available at the 25’s, after that run at the weekend. Best of luck with him, he’d be my pick of your 3 :good:

    #1274412

    buckers
    Participant
    • Total Posts 293

    No bet until the day of the race here, but at this stage I like Cogry, I hope he makes it. If not then I would agree about Harry Topper, it would be good to see him back

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