Paddy Brennan: I think he has that performance in him
He was clearly disappointing on his return at Newbury, a race he had won the year before, but hopefully he needed that run. The handicapper has given him a helping hand by dropping him 5lb though, and he is now only 1lb higher than when winning that Newbury race by 5 lengths last year. If he comes back to that sort of form, then he must have chances, and he won twice on heavy when trained in Ireland. And the step down in trip won’t be a problem in this ground.
Chase The Spud
I was very keen on his chances before his reappearance at Haydock, as he had blossomed over the summer. He was like a different horse and his work had been excellent. So I wasn’t in the least bit surprised by the manner of his victory there. The problem is that he went up 9lb and this is obviously a far deeper race. But it actually looks like he is 1lb well-in, as the handicapper has presumably upped him after the runner-up. Robinsfirth, won at Cheltenham next time. He has everything you look for in a Welsh National winner, as he loves heavy ground and has won the likes of a Midlands Grand National, so I just hope and pray that he is still competitively weighted after his rise. He has grown in confidence since that Uttoxeter win, and is now showing us what we always thought he was capable of. It will take a graded horse to win this off 11st 9lb, and I think he has that performance in him.
Mercy Mercy Me
He had been going nicely at home before his debut at Sandown but, unlike Chase The Spud, this is a horse who probably did surprise me a fair bit in the way that he picked up and went clear. I am not sure about the strength of that form and he carries a 7lb for it here, but the runner-up won a small race next time and he comes into this race in really good nick after a break. We don’t know how he will handle this heavy ground but he is a Shirocco, so that is a positive.
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