Onenightinvienna value in Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow
David Metcalf | 27 December 2016
Onenightinvienna has a Grand chance in Coral Welsh National
The Coral Welsh Grand National takes centre stage at Chepstow on Tuesday, December 27, and Onenightinvienna looks to have plenty going for him and decent value at the odds on offer in a typically fierce and wide-open renewal of the prestigious 3m 5f contest (14.40).
Trained by Philip Hobbs, who saddled Dream Alliance to win the race in 2013, the gelding is a lightly-raced and progressive stayer who has won two of his six starts over the larger obstacles.
In the first of those at Exeter 13 months ago, Onenightinvienna stayed on strongly to beat Fletcher’s Flyer, who went on to land a valuable handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival, by 1/4 lengths.
The seven-year-old backed that up with a cracking 2 1/2 length second to subsequent RSA winner Blaklion at Chepstow and the form of those races is very strong.
Perfect racing weight for marathon test
Onenightinvienna was officially rated 151 after those efforts and is now able to race of a reduced handicap mark of 146.
That makes him look weighted to run a huge race and he comes into the contest having looked better than ever on seasonal reappearance when readily landing a graduation chase at Carlisle.
Hobbs has resisted running Onenightinvienna since then to protect his mark for this and the son of Oscar has clearly been laid out for the race.
The selection also relishes testing conditions, which the race has historically been run on, and another plus is that he has the perfect racing weight of 10st 13lb as 13 of the last 15 winners have all carried 11st or less.
Native River the class act
Native River posted a game effort when landing the valuable Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last month and looks sure to make a bold bid to try and defy top weight and provide in-form trainer Colin Tizzard with another big race winner.
The six-year-old has now won four of his eight starts over fences and is a resolute galloper who has stamina in abundance.
Native River is officially well-in at the weights for this contest following his Newbury success but still has to shoulder a welter burden in what is a gruelling contest.
However, he is undoubtedly the class act in the race and they have performed consistently well over the years with subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised landing the spoils in 2010.
Arpege D’Alene a fascinating contender
Trainer Paul Nicholls has a good record in the contest and Arpege D’Alene is a fascinating contender for the Ditcheat handler.
The six-year-old was a useful hurdler, finishing runner-up Pertemps Final at the Cheltenham Festival in March, and has won one of his four starts over fences.
That came at Aintree where Arpege D’Aalen pulled clear to score by 10 lengths and he backed that up with a strong finishing second over 3m 1f at Cheltenham earlier in the month.
Judged on the latter, the step up in trip looks sure to suit and with just 10st 7lb in his back the unexposed Arpege D’Alene looks nicely treated from a handicapping perspective.
Coral’s top tip: Onenightinvienna looks a young stayer going places and worth an each-way wager in a terrific renewal of the Coral Welsh Grand National. Native River and Arpege D’Alene are other key players.