Welsh Grand National: Highland Hunter the favourite after Sandown success

Paddy's latest prices for Chepstow's big Christmas race.

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*Odds quoted on the widget are Future Racing/Antepost prices which means that if your selection does not run in the race for whatever reason, you will lose your stake under traditional antepost rules

Highland Hunter heads Paddy Power’s antepost betting for the Welsh Grand National after scoring at Sandown on Saturday.

Paul Nicholls’ charge got the better of Deise Aba by a nose to claim the London National, and the Ditcheat trainer confirmed it’s all systems go for the lucrative Grade 3 handicap on Monday, December 27.

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“He will go to Chepstow now with a 4lb penalty as he can’t be reassessed,” Nicholls said. “He will improve for that run. I only trained him for that race. I was going to give him one race, then Chepstow.”

Secret Reprieve has not run since winning last season’s Welsh Grand National but is expected to defend his title despite unsuitable ground scuppering plans for a prep run. There has not been a back-to-back winner since Bonanza Boy in 1989 but Evan Williams’ rising star is second in our antepost betting market.

Paddy’s traders slashed Iwilldoit‘s odds after a 24l romp in Saturday’s Welsh Grand National Trial. It was a hugely successful return to fences for the eight-year-old, who was switched to hurdling for the second half of last season.

Ask Me Early is also prominent in our book after being the only finisher in Saturday’s Class 3 Novices’ Hurdle at Chepstow. Harry Fry’s prolific scorer claimed three novices’ handicap chases last season and has started the campaign in fine form over flights.

Native River is the highest rated of the 54 entries and would have to give lumps of weight to the rest of the field if declared. The 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero made his seasonal reappearance on Saturday, finishing 25l behind Protektorat in the Many Clouds Chase.

Scottish Grand National winner Mighty Thunder also lurks on the entry list and is likely to return to handicapping after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby in October.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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