Well Refreshed tops the betting as 20 go for the Coral Welsh National
King George winning trainer Paul Nicholls will be doubly represented in the Coral Welsh National with Tidal Bay and Hawkes Point. Tidal Bay will have to emulate Carvill’s Hill who was the last horse to defy 11st 12lb in this race back in 1991.
Tidal Bay won the Lexus Chase a year ago but could not take up his intended engagements at Cheltenham or Liverpool due to injury. He reappeared to win over hurdles at Wetherby before being well beaten in the Betfair Chase at Haydock.
Last year’s runner-up Teaforthree is set to have his first run of the season and jockey Patrick Corbett will take off 5lbs. He was last seen finishing a nine-length third in the Aintree Grand National and Trainer Rebecca Curtis admits that this may be a tall order first time out.
Well Refreshed has been one of the best backed horses in the ante-post market for this race and looks to be perfectly weighted with just under 10 stone to carry including Jamie Moore’s allowance. He ran an eye-catching trial when a close third in the London National at Sandown and he relishes heavy ground and a proper stamina test.
Jonjo O’Neill has enjoyed success here in the past with Mini Sensation and Synchronised and looks to have another leading candidate in Merry King. The six-year-old ran a solid race when fifth in the Hennessy Gold Cup, finishing one place behind Emma Lavelle’s Highland Lodge.
Jim Dreaper has sent over Goonyella from Ireland in a bid to repeat his triumph in 2008 with Notre Pere. The terrible weather meant that the horse had to be brought over on Boxing Day and it remains to be seen whether he has had sufficient time to recover.
The race is due off at 2.35 and will be screened live on Channel 4.