The rescheduled Welsh National has retained almost all the original field in conditions which will doubtless be savagely gruelling.
We stand by our original selection Vintage Clouds who has age on his side, copes well with heavy ground and has scope to improve over this marathon trip.
Respect is due to last year’s runner-up Raz de Maree, whilst it is obvious why marathon specialist Mysteree is being well backed and the classy Beware The Bear has potential, but it is Sue Smith’s runner that gets the vote as he has ticks in all the boxes.
Conditions won’t be much nicer at Sandown. The feature races are interesting from a sporting but not betting angle. For the best bet we will wait til last. Richard Johnson is not Champion Jockey without having a canny agent. He looked booked to ride useful Sandown-liking mudlark Gassin Golf all week, but has made a late switch onto Drops Of Jupitor for in form trainer Anthony Honeyball.
That’s an eyecatching booking as he has not ridden this mare before, but her progressive form in mares’ hurdles makes her opening handicap mark here look very juicy indeed. On breeding, the mud should hold few fears.
Finally the veterans chase offers the chance to back some hairy old dogs guilty of multiple offences of Grevious Wadily Harm over the years.
Gas Line Boy owes us nothing after a fine win over the National fences, but he may not be so well in back on a normal course, besides he’s not nearly quirky enough to warrant the vote.
Hard though it is to believe that any horse can out-dog the legendary Buywise in this field, step forward Vino Griego. We thought we had stopped backing this beast when VHS was all the rage, but here he is at 13 having run quietly well last time, on course and ground he likes, with Jonjo junior claiming weight. Once more for old times sake.
Vintage Clouds, (1405 Chepstow), 1pt win, 12/1 Paddy Power
Vino Griego, (1500 Sandown), 0.5pts each way, 14/1 generally available
Drops Of Jupitor, (1535 Sandown), 2pts win, 7/1 William Hill
Vintage Clouds & Drops Of Jupitor, 0.5pt each way double, approx 100/1
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