Paddy Brennan: It will take a graded horse to win this off this weight
She did well for us over hurdles last season, proving well suited by heavy ground, but we were largely biding our time with her before she went over fences, as she is built for them. And she didn’t let us down on her chasing debut at Ayr on her reappearance, even though she wasn’t totally foot perfect. We were delighted with her. We haven’t seen her since that win in October and she has gone up 6lb, so she has questions to answer. And I suppose you could argue that her best form has come at shorter than this trip so far. But she clearly goes well when fresh, I think she will stay fine, she has a nice racing weight and, hopefully there is plenty more improvement in her. In fact, I’m pretty positive about her chances. She will love the ground and I think this track will really suit her, too.
Chase The Spud
Pretty much everything that I said in this column before this race was abandoned last month stands, though I think the extra 10 days or so wait is in his favour, as the more time between his races, the better. I schooled him on Wednesday and couldn’t be happier with him, so the important thing is that the race happens now. I was very keen on Chase The Spud’s 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 this will be heavy all right – 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 this weight, and I think he has that performance in him.
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