As ever, a competitive line up for the Welsh Grand National. Three and a half miles of attritional racing with 22 fences makes this a tough race, and the winner will need to have the ideal combination of stamina, solid jumping and intelligent jockey tactics to pass the winning post in front.

This year’s field looks likely to be headed in the betting by Elegant Escape, who has finished in the top three in all of his last nine starts; an impressively consistent record. The first of that run came at this track, but he has improved significantly since then, and was second in a solid Grade 3 Handicap Chase at Newbury at the start of this month. Racing off the same mark here, the worry is that he was well beaten by Sizing Tennessee last time out mainly due to a poor round of jumping.

Also certain to be near the top of the market is David Pipe’s Ramses De Teillee. The six year old carries a four pound penalty for a winner earlier this month, winning the trial for this very race in impression fashion. While he hasn’t yet raced over this distance he suggested the extra furlongs would be no issue by the way he stayed all the way to the line, and he is three pounds ahead of the handicapper here. However, this is a significant step up in class and he failed to be competitive when previously attempting to take on horses of this quality earlier this year.

A horse who will certainly not be outclassed here is Vieux Lion Rouge, winner of the 2016 Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree and competitor in this year’s Grand National. While he failed to threaten in April, he put in an eye catching run at the same track earlier this month in a Grade 3 Handicap. He races off the same mark today and with blinkers returning to try and keep him focused. He has proven his stamina, the going will suit and he remains well handicapped on old form so can make a bold bid.

Last year’s winner Raz De Maree – now thirteen years old – has failed to finish better than tenth since winning this race. As a result, his handicap mark is just two pounds above this time last year, and his price is sure to be in the double figures. It would take a surprising turn around in form for him to defend his crown though.

Selection

No myracing analysis available for this race

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