The Welsh Grand National Trial has been a good pointer to success in the big race in recent years – and Nassalam is the latest horse to try and complete the double.
An extra seven furlongs and a 4lb penalty will need to be negotiated but that did not stop Secret Reprieve and Iwilldoit in 2020 and 2021 respectively, with the latter bidding to regain the crown in Wednesday’s 14:50 at Chepstow.
Nassalam is not the only horse carrying a penalty for recently scoring as Becher Chase winner Chambard, London National victor Truckers Lodge and ultra-consistent Autonomous Cloud are also in the mix.
Super Survivor was the subject of strong antepost support ahead of his eighth start under rules and boasts in-form jockey Gavin Sheehan in the saddle.
The deep field for the 2023 Welsh Grand National also includes last year’s runner-up The Big Breakaway, Eider second The Galloping Bear and Complete Unknown.
The latest Welsh Grand National odds are on the Paddy Power website and Paddy Power app, otherwise Timeform’s guide to the runners as well as betting tips from the racing boffins can be found below.
Welsh Grand National verdict
Timeform: A chance is taken on NASSALAM’s stamina as he won the trial here earlier in the month with plenty in hand and looks well treated under a 4lb penalty. 2021 winner Iwilldoit looked as good as ever when second over hurdles at Aintree on his reappearance and this has presumably been the plan. Autonomous Cloud and Super Survivor are young staying chasers who likely have bigger performances in them and complete the shortlist.
*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
Welsh Grand National runners and riders
The following horses have been declared for the Welsh Grand National 2023.
Trainer: Sam Thomas Jockey: Dylan Johnston Age: 10 Weight: 12st 0lbs
Won this in 2021 and defied an absence of 13 months when following up in the Classic Chase at Warwick last winter. Solid reappearance second over hurdles at Aintree last month and this has presumably been the target. Player.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Harry Cobden Age: 7 Weight: 11st 13lbs
Useful hurdler and quickly developed into a smart chaser, finishing second in 3m Aintree Grade 1 final start. Won over 2½m on Newton Abbot reappearance but faded out of the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury since. Not sure he wants an extreme stamina test such as this.
The Big Breakaway
Trainer: Joe Tizzard Jockey: Adam Wedge Age: 8 Weight: 11st 8lbs
Runner-up in this off 1 lb higher last year but has completed on only one of his 4 outings since, running no sort of race in the Becher at Aintree latest. Hard to be confident about at present.
The Galloping Bear
Trainer: Ben Clarke Jockey: Sam Twiston-Davies Age: 10 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Useful staying chaser. Might have hit the frame but for falling 4 out in this last year. Good second in Eider Chase at Newcastle next time. Has had wind surgery ahead of this reappearance. This a tough ask first time up. First-time visor replaces cheekpieces.
Trainer: Gary Moore Jockey: Caoilin Quinn Age: 6 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Reacted very positively to refitted blinkers when an emphatic winner of the trial over 3m here 18 days ago, beating Wayfinder by 5½ lengths but value for more like double the margin. Stamina is an unknown over 6f further but he’s weighted to have a big say under a 4 lb penalty.
Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Miss Lucy Turner Age: 11 Weight: 11st 5lbs
Ended 2021/22 campaign with success in the Kim Muir at the Cheltenham Festival. Disappointed last season but firmly back on track this time round, winning Becher at Aintree (heavy) 18 days ago. Might be vulnerable under a 4 lb penalty here, though.
Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr. Age: 7 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Bumper/dual hurdle winner who took well to chasing last season, winning twice. Ran no sort of race on his 2½m Newbury reappearance but this return to 3m+ will suit and he remains unexposed as a stayer.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls Jockey: Freddie Gingell Age: 11 Weight: 11st 2lbs
This veteran is running in this for the fifth time (placed on 3 occasions) and showed he retains most of his ability when winning the London National at Sandown 18 days ago. Likely to be plugging on when others have cried enough.
Only The Bold
Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: Jack Tudor Age: 8 Weight: 10st 10lbs
Fairly useful hurdles winner for Evan Williams and proved a different proposition over fences in headgear for present connections last term, scoring at Bangor and Hereford. Has disappointed in 2 outings back hurdling this season, though.
Trainer: Fergal O’Brien Jockey: Paddy Brennan Age: 7 Weight: 10st 9lbs
Progressive young chaser who edged out Iron Bridge (Super Survivor third) in strong 3m Uttoxeter novice handicap on final start last season. Reappeared to win another 3m Uttoxeter handicap (heavy) a month ago and very much unexposed after only a handful of starts over fences.
Trainer: David Pipe Jockey: David Noonan Age: 5 Weight: 10st 5lbs
Useful chaser in France for David Cottin but he has offered little so far for this yard, including back hurdling on Newbury reappearance 26 days ago. Plenty to prove.
Trainer: Jamie Snowden Jockey: Gavin Sheehan Age: 7 Weight: 10st 5lbs
Dual hurdles winner with a positive profile over fences, winning 3m novice handicap on this card a year ago. Shaped well when second to stablemate Git Maker on 3m Lingfield return. Low-mileage improver for a trainer/jockey pairing which has already plundered one big handicap chase this winter.
Trainer: John Flint Jockey: Connor Brace Age: 10 Weight: 10st 1lbs
Added to his good Ffos Las record with a win in May but off since a lesser run in the Summer Cup at Uttoxeter in July. Likely up against it in a race as competitive as this back from 6 months off.
Trainer: Dianne Sayer Jockey: Danny McMenamin Age: 7 Weight: 10st 1lbs
Dual 3m chase winner in the first half of last season but not seen again until third in a 22.5f Kelso novice hurdle in November. Remains unexposed as a chaser but this will be a very different test to anything he’s faced previously.
Trainer: Rebecca Curtis Jockey: Lilly Pinchin Age: 9 Weight: 10st 0lbs
Back on track this season after wind surgery, chasing home Nassalam in the trial here (3m, heavy) 18 days ago. Pulled up in this 12 months ago but can fare better this time round.
Trainer: Chris Gordon Jockey: Freddie Gordon Age: 7 Weight: 9st 13lbs
Prolific over fences, making it 5 wins from only 6 starts in this sphere at Plumpton in November. Ran poorly over hurdles at Ascot since but better can be expected back over the larger obstacles.
Trainer: Emma-Jane Bishop Jockey: James Turner Age: 13 Weight: 9st 9lbs
Veteran who made light of a 10-month absence to win here in February and added to his good record fresh when second in the Southern National at Fontwell on his reappearance last month. 7 lb out of weights here, though.
Domaine De L’Isle
Trainer: Sean Curran Jockey: Ned Fox Age: 10 Weight: 9st 8lbs
Tumbled down the weights and finally took advantage when landing small-field marathon over C&D in March. That wasn’t a particularly strong race, though, and he’s pulled up both starts this season.
Trainer: Venetia Williams Jockey: Charlie Deutsch Age: 10 Weight: 9st 4lbs
Useful chaser at his best. Disappointed last season but has posted 2 decent efforts in cross-country events at Cheltenham this time round. Long way out of the handicap here, however.
Trainer: Kerry Lee Jockey: Richard Patrick Age: 7 Weight: 9st 4lbs
Building up a solid record over fences, winning on 3m Wetherby reappearance and third of 10 at Sandown (3m, heavy) since. 12 lb out of the handicap in this, though.
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