We head to Welsh National day in an attempt to scoop the Placepot on Saturday...
"Shotgun Paddy has some good chase form around this track to his name and he can’t be ignored..."
12:25 - We kick off proceedings with a maiden hurdle over two-and-a-half miles and Velvet Cognac is the first to get the nod. He proved no match for a Paul Nicholls newcomer on his latest start but pulled clear of the remainder and could easily improve from that again. Given Stilletto was an expensive purchase from the pointing field , he is the other selection and is taken to make a good fist of it on his rules debut.
12:55 - It's a handicap chase over three miles under consideration next and Allez Vic makes the cut given he was a promising third on his chase debut at Taunton and should be suited by the stiffer test he encounters today. Smiles For Miles has looked a different horse since being equipped with blinkers and must also be kept on side, as he could take some stopping.
13:25 - A sole selection will suffice in the handicap hurdle over the same trip which follows in the shape of Katkeau. Although he new mark has kicked in having been turned out quickly at Haydock last month, his Cheltenham win strongly suggests he is a handicapper to keep on side this season and he should make the frame at the very least.
13:55 - It will be another single horse to carry our hopes in the race we're considering next, the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle over two miles. The horse in question is Karezak, who edged out Golden Doyen over this C&D on their respective hurdling debuts and has put up some smart efforts in defeat since. He is likely to handle today's conditions better than most and will be tough to beat.
14:35 - There are lots in with chances in the feature contest of the card which we're considering now, the 2014 renewal of the Welsh National. Shotgun Paddy is sure to go well now his Cheltenham conqueror Midnight Prayer is a non-runner, and as he also has some good chase form around this track to his name and he can't be ignored. Benbens is unexposed at this sort of trip and on the pick of his form could well put in a bold bid if handling the unique test of this race, so is the other to get the nod.
15:10 - The final leg of today's perm is a handicap chase over an extended 19 furlongs and Headly's Bridge looks the pick of them in a race which most have questions to answer. He took another step forward when registering his third chase win at Exeter last month and still looks on the upgrade. Bob Ford is the best of the alternatives with a decent C&D win back in October backed up by an excellent second at Bangor the time after that.
12:25 - 1,13
12:55 - 6,9
13:25 - 2
13:55 - 6
14:35 - 1,12
15:10 - 7,8
= 16 Lines
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