Horse racing: Giles Cross in fine form for Welsh National bid

Victor Dartnall is hoping Giles Cross can go one better than last season when he lines up for the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow this afternoon.

Giles Cross found only Synchronised too good last winter and with that horse going for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown tomorrow rather than bidding for a repeat, Dartnall is expecting a bold show from his nine-year-old. “Giles Cross is in good form and schooled well this morning,” said the Devon trainer. “He always runs well at Chepstow. I’m happy with the weight (10st 6lb) and I’m looking forward to it.”

Alan King has been pleased with Blazing Bailey’s preparation following his run in the Hennessy at Newbury last month. “I would much prefer it to be wet than gluey, but if we get the right conditions, Blazing Bailey would not be without a chance,” the Barbury Castle trainer said.

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“It was obviously not ideal giving him his first race back in the Hennessy, but we had to start somewhere and he ran really well on ground which would have been plenty quick enough for him.”

Evan Williams reports Cappa Bleu ready to tackle this trip for the first time following his pleasing comeback win over three miles at Haydock after 20 months off the track.

“It will be a very interesting race. He came out of the race well at Haydock,” said the Llancarfan trainer. “You’re worried about the bounce factor, the ground and lots of things, but at the end of the day it’s a race I’ve always had at the forefront of my mind after Haydock. As far as the trip is concerned, you never know until you run them.”

Carruthers has been aimed at this race since his victory in the Hennessy and the eight-year-old is reported to be in tremendous shape. “He really does seem to be in really good nick,” said trainer Mark Bradstock’s wife, Sara. “This has been the plan since the Hennessy. I think if it’s deep and wet he’ll take a lot of beating.

“The only thing is if it was the real Chepstow glue, he may lack in strength because he’s not a big, strapping chaser for three mile five.”

Richard Lee’s two runners Le Beau Bai and Heathcliff are both at the bottom end of the handicap, but the Presteigne trainer feels the pair will have to be at the very best to take a hand in the finish. “I hope Le Beau Bai goes well. The ground will suit him, and he loves the track,” he said.

David Pipe’s Master Overseer is lightly raced but represents a good value bet and is The Scotsman nap.