Friday, 4 January 2013

McCoys thoughts on his mount in the Welsh National...


Tony McCoy believes that the bookmakers are too short with their quotes about Teaforthree ahead of the Welsh National.
The nine-year-old, who will be partnered by the champion jockey, has been well supported during the ante-post markets, and is set to be sent off a short priced favourite on Saturday afternoon.
McCoy, while confident of his chances in the 18-runner heat, told At The Races: "With the conditions as they are, it's going to be wide-open. Monbeg Dude is a horse who I always thought might be suited by a real test, there's Viking Blond, Paul's horse Michel Le Bon - you can make cases for a lot of them.
"I've seen that at the moment he's about 3/1 and then it's 7/1 bar and I just don't think there is that big a gap between him and the rest of them, particularly with the ground the way it is.
"Last year he was being aimed at the Hennessy and the Welsh National came as more of an after-thought but this time his season has been very much geared around the Welsh National.
"The extra couple of weeks after Newbury might have helped him and I hope he has got a good chance. He's a pretty easy horse, touch wood he jumps well and he's a pretty handy sort.
"He doesn't have to lead but we'll pop out handy and see how the race is run. Stamina is going to come into play and hopefully he's got more than the rest of them."
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And Alex Hammonds thoughts...
The Welsh National takes place on Saturday after the original fixture was abandoned due to waterlogging.
Conditions are set to be heavy and this will be a real war of attrition over three miles and five-and-a-half furlongs on testing ground.
When I previewed this race originally I really fancied Teaforthree and that's still the case, despite his relatively short price (3/1 favourite); he won the four-miler at the Cheltenham festival and has been geared towards this race this season.
Teaforthree: Alex's tip for the Welsh National at Chepstow
Teaforthree: 
He won his novice chase at this track on heavy ground so hopefully the conditions shouldn't phase him, and if he does win this for Rebecca Curtis he would become the first Welsh trained horse to win the Welsh National since 1965.
AP McCoy is still able to ride, but luckily for him the weights aren't as low as they could have been before so he won't have to waste to ride him.
Teaforthree won the four-miler at the Cheltenham festival and has been geared towards the Welsh National this season.

The yard had been forced to shut down after an outbreak of equine herpes, which claimed the lives of several horses, but they are back in business now and need some good luck.
What a result it would be for Victor Dartnall if his Giles Cross (9/1) could finally get his head in front in this race. He has finished second for the past two seasons and would be a boost for the stable if he could win.
The horse certainly won't mind a slog in this ground and he should run well once again and Victor told me he was very happy with the horse when I spoke to him on Sky Sports News on Friday.
The only note of caution was that as the horse hadn't run since April you couldn't be confident, but he sounded hopeful. One thing he did tell me is that he fancies the chances of Seebright in the bumper at Chepstow, so don't say you weren't told!
Paul Nicholls has Michel le Bon (7/1) in the contest. He ran an encouraging race in the Badger Ales at Wincanton last time out, but he is unproven on ground like this. He has only had four starts over fences and his trainer has said in the past he wouldn't mind soft ground, but this is likely to be extremely testing.
Viking Blond is also a 7/1 shot for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He has put up a couple of encouraging efforts and could still be a progressive staying chaser at the age of eight, and he carries a nice racing weight.
Sona Sasta (7/1) is one of two in this for David Pipe. He only has 10 stone and then his amateur jockey takes a further seven pounds off, so he will think he's running loose. Conditions suit him and he comes here having won a handicap chase in similar conditions over three miles at this track last time out.
Master Overseer is Pipe's other runner (14/1) and he has plenty in his favour, too. The ground can't be testing enough and the trip can't be far enough, perfect ingredients for this contest!
Alfie Spinner and Universal Soldier are both 12/1 shots but be aware that the former has Sandown's 3.40 as his first preference. Universal Soldier is also entered in that Sandown contest, but this is his first option.
Charlie Longsdon is really making a name for himself amongst the training ranks and this horse can go well for the stable, too. He has blinkers on for the first time just to help him travel and conditions are ideal. He could run into a place and is an each way price.
Soll could also be one for each way punters. Jo Hughes trains this horse and she has her team in decent form, while this horse should be sharper for his reappearance run in the Hennessy where he finished eighth behind Bobs Worth.
That was his first run for the trainer having spent his formative years with Willie Mullins for whom he showed decent promise. He can't be written off and at 12/1 appeals slightly to finish in the frame.
I'm afraid that time hasn't dimmed my enthusiasm for Teaforthree and he looks tailor made for this type of race. I think he can fly the flag for Wales.

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