At the moment the course is waterlogged and with rain forecast as possible for most of the next week in Chepstow it may be odds against the Welsh National taking place on its traditional date.
Nevertheless, this is one of the premier staying chases of the season so lets see if we can try and find the winner.
With fifty-five horses still declared for the race it might pay to start off by looking at some trends to see who that might leave us as contenders. The ten year trends most often used seem to be as follows:
- Winning form over at least 3 miles 10/10
Ran at least once that season 10/10
Aged 6-9 10/10
Ran no more than twice that season 9/10
Top four finish lto 9/10
Rated 130+ 9/10
Winning course form 7/10
If you apply the top six trends to the field it leaves you with a short list of:
- Major Malarkey
Michel Le Bon
All of the above have also won at Chepstow so the final trend will not narrow our shortlist any further.
As with all trends lists they should only be used as a guide and its up to you to include or remove the trends from the list you feel are most relevant.
Of the horses thrown up by the above I would favour Major Malarkey and Universal Soldier.
Major Malarkey has shown consistent form in the last year at stamina trips and Universal Soldier has looked a dour stayer from early in his career and the Welsh National could be just the test he needs to bring out the best in him
Outside of the trends, the obvious form choice is Teaforthree for whom this race has been the target for over a year since the horse was successful in a novice chase at the track in December 2011.
Proven stamina, course form and the ability to handle the likely conditions are all boxes that are ticked for this horse and he must have a very strong chance. Trainer Rebecca Curtis has remarked that the 8yo takes quite a lot of getting fit and it looks no coincidence that he has won on his third outing for the last two years. The Welsh National will be his third start of 2012/13.
Who do you fancy for this race and why? Are we likely to see a shock winner or will the fancied runners prevail?