Friday’s Coral Welsh Grand National presents the usual intriguing post-Christmas puzzle for punters.
Colin Tizzard has opted to run the 2018 winner, Elegant Escape, and he is the class act in this year’s race. His jumping isn’t always very fluent but he has plenty of stamina and is perfectly capable of defying top weight.
Now McGinty is the second favourite. He beat one of Nicky Henderson’s Gold Cup hopes Santini at Sandown, and when he won at Chepstow in January the runner-up was the subsequent Ladbroke Trophy winner De Rasher Counter.
Paul Nicholls is confident about Truckers Lodge, despite him having had only three starts over fences. He has won twice at Chepstow, goes on the ground and doesn’t have much weight to carry. Pembrokeshire’s Lorcan Williams takes the ride. Nicholls also saddles Yala Enki, who has already won over a similar distance and will be partnered by Bryony Frost.
Trained near Bridgend by Christian Williams, Potters Corner (pictured) will be Wales’ chief flagbearer. His Chepstow victory earlier this month was the third time he’s won at the track. Local conditional jockey Jack Tudor takes off a handy seven pounds.
Field Exhibition, trained by Grace Harris just four miles from Chepstow, was running a career-best at Newbury on Wednesday until a stumble after the last fence unshipped her rider. They were destined for second place not far behind this year’s Aintree National runner-up Magic Of Light.
Evan Williams runs three, Pobbles Bay, Prime Venture and Virginia Chick, all of which have each-way chances.
Rebecca Curtis’s Joueur Bresilien and Debra Hamer’s Looks Like Power are other Welsh-trained entries, but with the field size limited to 22 their participation depends on a few other horses to drop out.