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Welsh National tips for Saturday's Grade 3 race. Always a dour test over just shy of three and three-quarter miles, the Welsh National is a huge part of the Christmas program. Despite the demands on stamina, it often throws up a scintillating finish with this renewal looking as deep as ever. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

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WILD WEST WIND won the trial for this chase over three miles here. He has had just four starts over fences in his career so looks open to plenty more improvement with conditions ideal. There are any number in here with an each way shout. Beware The Bear won the Rehearsal Chase last time from Bishops Road, both arrive with a solid chance. Chase The Spud and Mysteree are dour stayers who will relish this test, as will the lazy but talented Ask The Weatherman.


Vicente | J: Sam Twiston-Davies T: Paul Nicholls

Won back to back editions of the Scottish Grand National, returning this season with a very gutsy second at Cheltenham, only beaten by a neck. He's only a pound higher and is entitled to come on for the run, but this weight on heavy ground looks a stopper.

Beware The Bear | J: Jeremiah McGrath T: Nicky Henderson

Ran a remarkable race on his return at Newcastle, winning the Rehearsal Chase despite being eight lengths down at three out. He forged well clear and this trip should be far more to his liking. He is completely unexposed at the marathon trips and is clearly a leading contender.

Chase The Spud | J: Paddy Brennan T: Fergal O'Brien

Admirable nine year old arrives on a hat-trick, winning the Midlands National back in March before returning with an all heart success at Haydock. He absolutely loves a slog in the mud and although this is a career high mark, he holds each way claims.

Silsol | J: Bryony Frost T: Paul Nicholls

Won a Grade 2 in October 2016 but he returned this season with a lacklustre run at Haydock in a Grade 3 Handicap. He's entitled to come on for the run but you'd like to have seen much more from him that day. He has stamina to prove at this trip and others are preferred.

Final Nudge | J: Aidan Coleman T: David Dennis

Nearly made a triumphant return when second at Wincanton in the Badger Ales Trophy last month, beaten only a head. He's now six pounds higher in a tougher race, but he still has low mileage over fences and holds each way claims with conditions to suit.

Pobbles Bay | J: Adam Wedge T: Evan Williams

Seven year old has won two of his four chasing starts, disappointing on his return at Aintree last month. He's still got very low mileage on the clock and may come on for that run, promising at various stages he'd stay much further than three miles. Interesting but comes with risks attached.

Bishops Road | J: Jamie Moore T: Kerry Lee

Promised to be a very smart marathon runner back in 2016 before things went astray later in the year. He made a very pleasing return at Newcastle last month behind Beware The Bear, with today's conditions far more to his liking. Connections love this race so needs plenty of consideration.

Wild West Wind | J: A. P. Heskin T: Tom George

Arrives here with a record of 3/4 over fences, winning the trial for this race here. He's entitled to come on for the run and he's still unexposed as a stayer, with heavy ground his ideal scenario. Looks a huge player with so much untapped potential.

Raz De Maree | J: James Bowen T: Gavin Patrick Cromwell, Ireland

Popular veteran who finished second in this race last season off a pound lower. He ran better than expected at Southwell on his latest start over hurdles and will be much happier back over fences. He's vulnerable for win purposes at this stage of his career, but he can put up a fight for the placings.

Vintage Clouds | J: Danny Cook T: Sue Smith

Two career best performances this season for Sue Smith, finishing second at Haydock last month behind Clan Des Obeaux. His current handicap mark demands improvement now in a very competitive race but this has always looked a test that would suit.

Ask The Weatherman | J: Nick Scholfield T: Jack R. Barber

Lightly raced eight year old who has only run three times under rules, returning this season with a game win at Exeter in November. He was off a massive weight that day and is entitled to come on for the run. An extra stamina test is something he should relish and he holds leading claims for Jack Barber.

Mysteree | J: Robert Dunne T: Michael Scudamore

In great form towards the end of last season, second in the Midlands National behind Chase The Spud when last seen. He goes well fresh and has a pull with that rival at the weights. He won on seasonal debut last season and he's a strong each way contender.

O'faolains Boy | J: Barry Geraghty T: Rebecca Curtis

Formerly very smart, he won the RSA at the 2014 Festival. Has got his head in front just once since, pulled up four times in his last seven starts. Unquestionably well treated and conditions will suit, but hard to trust these days.

Buckhorn Timothy | J: Daryl Jacob T: Colin Tizzard

Arrives on a hat-trick, but his two victories both came over timber. He now returns to fences off a fair mark but he has stamina to prove at these marathon distances. Others preferred.

Milansbar | J: Trevor Whelan T: Neil King

Seasoned stayer who was three lengths behind Wild West Wind at Chepstow on his latest start, keeping on gallantly under pressure late on. This trip will be far more to his liking and he's well treated on his best, but he does look vulnerable to younger, improving horses.

Alfie Spinner | J: Richard Patrick T: Kerry Lee

Despite his advancing years has produces two of his career best efforts in the last year. Yet to conclusively prove he wants this far but for a yard who do so well in the race, he should put up a bold sight for a long way.

Rathlin Rose | J: Tom Scudamore T: David Pipe

Picked up a couple of military races at Sandown last season, struggling back in conventional handicaps since. Stamina to prove for this trip with current wellbeing another cause for concern after a poor run last time.

On The Road | J: Mitchell Bastyan T: Evan Williams

Ten starts on the bounce in the first two, that record looks under serious threat at this level. He relishes underfoot conditions but his stamina appeared to give way over a couple of furlongs less at Sedgefield in December 2016, that’s a major concern.

Firebird Flyer | J: Conor Ring T: Evan Williams

Runner-up in this contest two seasons ago, he has struggled to come within shouting distance of that level of form since. Only eighth last season so a return here is no reason to expect a massive improvement on recent showings. Tough task awaits.

Emperor's Choice | J: Charlie Deutsch T: Venetia Williams

Winner of this contest in 2014, he once more relished a slog in the mud when scoring at Haydock last time. This may come a little quick but he is still handily weighted on his best from the bottom of the weights.

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