Beg To Differ an each-way bet in Coral Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow
David Metcalf | 3 December 2016
Beg To Differ a big player in Coral Welsh Grand National Trial
The big race on a cracking Saturday card at Chepstow is the Coral Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (15.20) and Beg To Differ looks worth an each-way bet at the odds on offer in a wide-open renewal of the 3m contest.
The Jonjo O’Neill trained six-year-old was successful three times over hurdles in the first half of 2015 and after posting solid efforts to make the frame in his first three starts over the larger obstacles scored in terrific style over 3m at Sandown back in February.
After tracking the leaders travelling strongly, Beg To Differ was produced to take up the running at the last and only had to be ridden out to beat Loose Chips by a comfortably 4 1/2 lengths.
The gelding was value for much more than the winning margin and the runner-up is a tough and consistent sort who has won twice since to give the form a boost.
Beg To Differ then had no luck in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when stumbling and unseating his rider before the 12th fence when moving into contention.
Judging on those runs a mark of 143 should not be beyond the son of Flemensifth and although disappointing on seasonal reappearance when pulled-up at Cheltenham he got unsettled after a bad mistake early doors and looks just the type to bounce back now that the stable is in better form.
Kingswell Theatre a contender for in-form Scu
Trainer Michael Scudamore is enjoying a tremendous season and saddles an interesting contender in Kingswell Theatre.
The Hereford-based handler saddled the recently retired Monbeg Dude to win the Coral Welsh Grand National in 2012 and in Kingwells Theatre has a gelding who had some fair form to his name over hurdles when in the care of Lucinda Russell and made a promising start to his chasing career last season.
After scoring on debut over the larger obstacles on his first start for Scudamore, the seven-year-old defied a 7lb rise in the weights to score easily at this venue by nine lengths.
Kingswell Theatre then got put up a further 10lb to a mark of 142 and failed to shine in four subsequent outings.
However, he is now able to race off what looks an exploitable reduced rating of 137 and remains a promising young staying chaser who looks the type who should have more to offer this season.
Berea Boru open to further progress
Berea Boru finished 37 lengths behind Kingswell Theatre when fourth at this track before going on to rattle-up a three-timer and is another that commands plenty of respect.
Two of those victories came at this venue, so the Peter Bowen trained eight-year-old is clearly well suited by the undulations of the Welsh venue.
Although pulled-up in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr when last seen in action, that may well have been one outing too many after three quick runs and Berea Boru may well have more to offer following a break for a yard that does well with its stayers.
Coral’s top tip: Beg To Differ looks each-way value in a fascinating renewal of the Coral Welsh Grand National Trial Handicap Chase. Kingswell Theatre and Berea Boru are others worth considering in a wide-open contest.