|Chepstow Racecourse is hopeful the 2020 Coral Welsh Grand National meeting will be run tomorrow on Saturday 9 January 2021. Clerk of the course Libby O'Flaherty will inspect at 2.30pm on Friday, but for now the frost covers appear to have done their job, with the track raceable on Friday morning. Although temperatures will dip below freezing in the early hours of Saturday morning, the hope remains the card will go ahead at the second time of asking following its original postponement due to waterlogging on 27 December.
Libby told us: "It was cold in the first part of last night night but by eight o'clock this morning it was 2C with no frost at all. The forecast is for wintry showers this afternoon into the evening and staying above freeing until 2am. It will be down at -1C at 6am. It's a precautionary inspection this afternoon which means we're totally raceable as we speak. I called it because of the snow that was due but the forecasters seem less confident that it will be snow, it's more sleety stuff they're talking about. We'll see what this afternoon brings."
The Racing Horse looks closely at the race and offer some pertinent betting advice, below contains our CHEPSTOW RACECOURSE TEMPLATE & RACING TRENDS for the race:
As always when looking at a race we filter the pretenders from the contenders and nominate those who are very unlikely to win, these will include those who have not won 1-5 chases previously, not raced within the last 42 days and those who have not won over 3m (fences) before and those aged older than 9yo. They include: Truckers Lodge, Big River, Dominateur, Prime Venture, Christmas In April, Bobo Mac, Joe Farrell, Vieux Lion Rouge, Yala Enki, Lord Du Mesnil.
WORTHY FAVOURITE but a SHORT PRICE!
This leaves just 7 candidates from the 18 expected runners and one of those is the current favourite SECRET REPRIVE for local trainer Evan Williams and he has every right to run a big race! He is still unexposed and a double course winner in heavy ground, he is a deserved favourite and especially given the fabulous form of the trainer. Could we offer him as our selection? Not at 4/1, there is no perceived value whatsoever but will include him in our placings but try to get him beat!
SECRET REPRIEVE had plenty in hand when seeing off a couple of these rivals over 3m here last month and looks well-in under just a 4 lb penalty (new mark 8 lb higher). Springfield Fox has a similarly unexposed profile to the selection and looks next best ahead of Yala Enki, who has been placed in the last 2 runnings, and Colin Tizzard's Christmas In April.
The Racing Horse Verdict:
1 SPRINGFIELD FOX 8/1 2 Secret Reprieve 4/1 3 Cloudy Glen 20/1 4 Captain Drake 33/1
The poor form of Tom George is a huge concern and he is now 1-45 for 2% since November but the training of this 8yo horse specifically for this race would probably be much different to the rest of his team. He has a national average of 14% whilst at Chepstow he scores 38-293 for 13%. The trainer has secured the perfect jockey for his charge in Sean Bowen, who loves riding at Chepstow with figures of 32-144 for a big 22% strike rate and a level stake profit of +65.70.
The front two in the market look really solid even for a race of this nature and we have placed a win and save wager. Trying to find something to beat both was very difficult and a kind trip will see one of them win.
For further information please contact:
Phil Bell, Chepstow Executive Director: 07703 193321
Simon Clare, Ladbrokes Coral PR Director: 07860 465139
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