Welsh Grand National: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Secret Reprieve jumps a fence
Secret Reprieve is bidding to win back-to-back Welsh Grand Nationals

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on Monday and pick out their 1-2-3.

"He took last season's renewal in the style of one who has more to offer..."

Welsh Grand National
14:50 Chepstow, Monday
Live on ITV4

1. Native River (Colin Tizzard/ Brendan Powell)
Took this in 2016 and went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018. Still capable of top-class form last term but he underperformed by quite some way when a remote second on his return at Aintree. Cheekpieces are back on in place of blinkers.

2. Elegant Escape (Colin Tizzard/ Jonjo O'Neill jnr)
Won race in 2018. Found two miles over hurdles an inadequate test at Sandown on his return from 21 months off, but it should have blown away some cobwebs and this trip is much more suitable.

3. Kimberlite Candy (Tom Lacey/ Richie McLernon)
Runner-up in the Becher Chase at Aintree in 2019 and 2020 but returned with a rather lacklustre display in that same race 23 days ago. Possibly best watched after that. Blinkered first time.

4. Truckers Lodge (Paul Nicholls/ Lorcan Williams)
Won the Midlands Grand National in 2020. Also second and seventh in the last two runnings of this. Well behind Iwilldoit on his return here but this has presumably been the target. Blinkered first time.

5. Mighty Thunder (Lucinda Russell/ Derek Fox)
Vastly improved last season, bagging a fourth win of the campaign in the Scottish National at Ayr. Should be sharper for his return at Wetherby and could have even more to come at marathon trips.

6. Highland Hunter (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Typical steady improver from this yard who took it up another notch when edging out Deise Aba in the London National at Sandown on his return. Slightly longer trip now should play to his strengths. Respected.

7. The Big Dog (Peter Fahey/ Jonathan Burke)
Well suited by the step up to three and a half miles when winning at Punchestown in February. Below that form in a chase/hurdle around three miles this term, but better can be expected now stepping back up in trip. Yard does well in Britain.

8. Ramses De Teillee (David Pipe/ Tom Scudamore)
Second to Elegant Escape in this in 2018. Latest Haydock fourth shows he's still capable of smart form. Goes well on testing ground and has first-time cheekpieces added to usual tongue strap.

9. Mac Tottie (Peter Bowen/ Sean Bowen)
Ended last season on a high and was all the better for his return when winning the Grand Sefton at Aintree in October. Fell early in the Becher there last time.

10. Achille (Venetia Williams/ Hugh Nugent (5))
Shaped like a well-handicapped horse for much of way and possibly just needed run after nine months off when fifth in the Becher at Aintree. Should be spot on now.

11. Secret Reprieve (Evan Williams/ Adam Wedge)
Big improver last winter, running out an impressive winner of this contest when last seen in January. Absent since but he's a lightly raced seven-year-old and likely has more to come. Leading claims.

12. Discordantly (Jessica Harrington/ Gavin Sheehan)
Useful chaser who returned with a respectable sixth in the Troytown at Navan last month. Yard's runners over here always respected but he's not obviously well treated. Tongue tied for the first time.

13. Deise Aba (Philip Hobbs/ Tom O'Brien)
Has returned with good runner-up efforts at Aintree (hurdle) and in the London National at Sandown. Went down by only a nose to Highland Hunter in the latter and is 4 lb better off with him now.

14. Hold That Taught (Venetia Williams/ Charlie Deutsch)
Has taken well to chasing and landed a gamble to open his account in this sphere on his return in a three-and-a-quarter mile handicap at Carlisle eight weeks ago, asserting with a bit in hand. More to come.

15. Colorado Doc (David Brace/ Conor Brace)
Notched his third success under Rules when landing a Worcester novice hurdle in October. Shaped better than the result would suggest when a 24-length second to Iwilldoit here last time, but stamina is a big worry.

16. Iwilldoit (Sam Thomas/ Stan Sheppard)
Bolted up over three miles here a few weeks ago on just his third start over fences, jumping well under a positive ride. Effectively 10 lb higher now (6 lb out of handicap) but it may not prevent a bold bid.

17. Eva's Oskar (Tim Vaughan/ Alan Johns)
Returned better than ever when scoring over three miles here in October and backed it up with seconds at Ascot and Cheltenham since. 8 lb out of the handicap here, though.

18. Captain Drake (Harry Fry/ Lorcan Murtagh (3))
Ran a blinder when a six-length fourth to Secret Reprieve in this race last season. Hasn't reproduced that level in his three subsequent outings so is relying on a return to this venue sparking a revival.

19. Hill Sixteen (Sandy Thomson/ Craig Nichol)
Useful chaser who was back to form with a bang on just his second outing for this yard when going close in the Becher at Aintree a few weeks ago. Effectively running off 4 lb higher here but still of interest.

20. Potters Corner (Christian Williams/ Jack Tudor (3))
Won the Midlands and Welsh Nationals in 2019. Not so productive since but back to form with a close second in a cross-country event at Cheltenham earlier this month. 8 lb out of the handicap here, though.

Timeform's Analyst Verdict

Four previous winners line up. Secret Reprieve is the most recent and he took last season's renewal in the style of one who has more to offer so he's fancied to make light of his absence and become the first back-to-back winner since Bonanza Boy in 1988-89. Deise Aba looks well-in off the same mark as when edged out by Highland Hunter at Sandown so he's feared most. Iwilldoit is next best.

1. Secret Reprieve
2. Deise Aba
3. Iwilldoit

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