Welsh National Runner Guide

1. Ballyoptic

Well-made gelding: smart hurdler: smart chaser: won novice at Exeter and Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby (by 2¾ lengths from Vintage Clouds) in 2017/18: best effort when nose second of 29 to Joe Farrell in Scottish Grand National at Ayr on final start of season: off 8 months, 15/2, fell eleventh in Becher Chase won by Walk In The Mill at Aintree last time: stays 4m: acts on heavy going: tried in tongue tie.

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2. Yala Enki

Useful-looking gelding: winning hurdler: smart handicap chaser: off 7 months, 20/1, better than ever when winning 12-runner event at Bangor last time by nose from Sir Mangan, left in second last and rallying to lead again on line: stays 3½m: acts on heavy going: tried in cheekpieces: front runner/races prominently: tends to sweat.

3. Otago Trail

Medium-sized gelding: winning hurdler: smart handicap chaser: won at Newcastle (Rehearsal Chase) and Sandown in 2016/17: missed following season: good effort when 3½ lengths third of 12 to Lake View Lad in Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on return: well held last time: stays 3m well (still relatively unexposed as a stayer): acts on heavy going.

4. Elegant Escape

Well-made gelding: winning hurdler: very smart chaser: won listed event at Sandown (by ½ length from Thomas Patrick) in November: well-backed 4/1, creditable 10 lengths second of 12 to Sizing Tennessee in Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury last time: will be suited by long distances: acts on heavy going: tried in cheekpieces: races prominently.

5. Vyta Du Roc

Good-topped gelding: useful hurdler: best recent effort when 14 lengths fifth of 10 to Louis' Vac Pouch in handicap at Aintree in 2017/18: useful handicap chaser: won at Cheltenham (by 22 lengths from Lamb Or Cod) in 2017/18: off 11 months, 7/1, considerately handled when pulled up in race won by Yala Enki at Bangor last time: stays 4m: acts on heavy going: tried in cheekpieces: tried in tongue tie.

6. Vieux Lion Rouge

Lengthy gelding: winning hurdler: smart handicap chaser: won Becher Chase at Aintree and Grand National Trial at Haydock in 2016/17: off 8 months and had breathing operation, 11/1, 4½ lengths second of 18 to Walk In The Mill in Becher Chase at Aintree last time, staying on well after labouring thirteenth: stays 3½m: acts on heavy going: wears headgear: tried in tongue tie, including latest start.

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7. Vintage Clouds

Compact gelding: winning hurdler: smart handicap chaser: won at Aintree (novice event, by 18 lengths from Lovely Job) on 2017/18 return: off 7 months, 10/3, won 6-runner event at Haydock last time by ½ length from Takingrisks, all out: stays 4m: acts on heavy going: usually leads: worth a try in headgear.

8. Folsom Blue

Sturdy gelding: useful hurdler: won handicap at Clonmel (by head from Westerner Point) in 2017/18: off 7 months, 11/1, 21¾ lengths fourth of 7 to Paisley Park in Betfair Stayers' Handicap Hurdle at Haydock last time, needing stiffer test: smart handicap chaser: won at Punchestown (by 1½ lengths from Isleofhopendreams) in 2017/18, when also 1½ lengths promoted fourth of 30 to General Principle in Irish Grand National Chase at Fairyhouse (staying on when badly hampered last): stays 29f: acts on heavy going: usually wears headgear: wears tongue tie: often races prominently: has shown signs of temperament but doing nothing wrong for current yard.

9. Baie Des Iles

Angular mare: fairly useful hurdler: 18 lengths sixth of 13 to Red Devil Lads in handicap at Navan in 2017/18: useful chaser: won handicap at Punchestown (by 4¾ lengths from Sambremont) in 2016/17: well held in 38-runner Grand National at Aintree final outing in 2017/18: 27/1, back to best when winning Group 2 Prix des Drags at Auteuil in June by 1¼ lengths from Bipolaire: off 5 months, tailed-off last of 7 behind Bipolaire in Prix La Haye Jousselin on last-named course last time, weakening quickly approaching 2 out stays 29f: acts on heavy going: wears cheekpieces.

10. Ramses De Teillee

Leggy gelding: has had breathing operation: maiden hurdler: smart chaser: 2/1, showed good attitude when winning 10-runner handicap at Chepstow last time by 2½ lengths from Prime Venture, always finding: stays 3¼m: acts on heavy going: wears tongue tie: often travels strongly.

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11. Raz De Maree

Sturdy gelding: fairly useful handicap hurdler: best recent effort when 9 lengths second of 13 to Red Rising at Southwell in 2017/18: useful chaser: won Welsh Grand National at Chepstow (by 6 lengths from Alfie Spinner) in 2017/18: well below form all 3 starts this season: stays 33f: acts on heavy going: has worn headgear.

12. Regal Flow

Sturdy gelding: fair handicap hurdler: useful handicap chaser: won at Wincanton, Taunton and Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter (by 10 lengths from Milansbar) in 2017/18: 20/1, unseated rider fourteenth in Becher Chase won by Walk In The Mill at Aintree last time: stays 4¼m: acts on any going: tried in cheekpieces.

13. Rons Dream

Workmanlike mare: useful hurdler: best recent effort when 4 lengths second of 6 to Midnight Tune in mares handicap at Kempton in 2017/18: useful chaser: won 3 times in 2017/18, including listed mares event at Perth in April, and similar event at Market Rasen (by ½ length from Casablanca Mix) in November: evens, creditable 6 lengths second of 3 to Pearl Royale in listed mares event at Carlisle last time: will benefit from return to around 3m: acts on heavy going: tried in tongue tie: tough and reliable.

14. Final Nudge

Strong gelding: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: good effort when head second of 16 to Present Man in Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton in 2017/18: 10/1, well below form in 17-runner race at Uttoxeter last time: probably best up to 29f: acts on heavy going: has worn cheekpieces, including last 2 starts.

15. Looksnowtlikebrian

Winning hurdler: useful form over fences: won twice in light 2017/18 campaign (novice/novice handicap) as well as handicap at Carlisle (by length from Sky Pirate) in October: 4/1, followed up in 10-runner handicap at same course last time by 10 lengths from Bako de La Saulaie, overcoming mistakes to storm clear: will stay long distances: acts on heavy going: usually races towards rear: may do better still over fences.

16. Bishops Road

Compact gelding: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: best recent effort when 2¾ lengths second of 8 to Red Infantry at Haydock last time, despite making chance-ending mistake last: off just 7 days, 6/1, unseated rider third in Rehearsal Chase won by Lake View Lad at Newcastle last time: stays 3½m: acts on heavy going: usually wears headgear: often wears tongue tie: often races prominently.

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17. Lieutenant Colonel

Tall gelding: useful hurdler: won minor event at Cork (by 1¼ lengths from Karalee) in 2017/18: left Gordon Elliott/off 5 months, pulled up last time: fairly useful form over fences: stays 3m, effective at shorter: acts on good to firm and heavy going: usually in headgear: wears tongue tie.

18. Shanroe Santos

Lengthy gelding: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: won Southern National at Fontwell (by 5 lengths from Morney Wing) in November: 3/1, not disgraced when 14 lengths fourth of 8 to Morney Wing in Betfair London National at Sandown last time: stays 3½m: acts on heavy going: wears headgear: often travels strongly: often let down by jumping.

19. Kansas City Chief

Sturdy gelding: useful handicap hurdler: won at Doncaster (by 8 lengths from Amberjam) in 2017/18: off 9 months, 13/2, lost shoe when below form when 27¼ lengths fifth of 7 to Knock House at Bangor last time: useful chaser: stays 3¼m: acts on heavy going: usually wears cheekpieces.

20. Jennys Surprise

Workmanlike mare: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: off 8 months, 5/2, ran up to best when winning 4-runner veterans event at Lingfield last time by ¾ length from Bally Longford, rallying to lead dying strides: stays 3½m: acts on heavy going: tried in cheekpieces: often races prominently.

21. Dawson City

Sturdy gelding: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: won at Exeter (by 2 lengths from Shotgun Paddy) in 2017/18: 20/1, creditable 9¾ lengths fifth of 16 to Harry The Viking at Kelso last time, barely adequate test: out-and-out stayer: acts on heavy going: tried in cheekpieces.

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22. Holly Bush Henry

Lengthy gelding, has had breathing operation: useful handicap hurdler: won at Worcester, Plumpton and Sandown (by neck from Connetable) in 2017/18: useful handicap chaser: won at Fakenham (by ½ length from Morney Wing) in 2017/18: 10/1, returned to form when 2 lengths second of 9 to Beau du Brizais at Ludlow last time: stays 25f: acts on good to firm and heavy going: often in headgear: has worn tongue tie.

23. Mysteree

Angular gelding: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: won at Haydock and Betfred Eider (Handicap Chase) at Newcastle in 2016/17: lightly raced and no form since: stays 33f: acts on heavy going: in cheekpieces last 2 starts.

24. Alfie Spinner

Good-topped gelding: has had breathing operation: winning hurdler: useful handicap chaser: best recent effort when 2 lengths second of 9 to Ballycross at Ffos Las in 2017/18: off 8 months, 22/1, shaped as if needing run when well-beaten eighth of 10 to Ramses de Teillee at Chepstow last time: stays 4m: acts on heavy going: wears cheekpieces/tongue tie: front runner/races prominently.

25. Pobbles Bay

Good-topped gelding: fairly useful hurdler: off 7 months, strong 7/2, probably better for run when 11 lengths third of 7 to Buckhorn Timothy in handicap at Ffos Las last time, finding less than looked likely: useful chaser: shaped well when failing to stay in Welsh National last season: stays 3¼m: raced only on soft/heavy going: often races in rear.

26. Ballycross

Sturdy gelding: winning hurdler: fairly useful handicap chaser: won at Ffos Las (by 2 lengths from Alfie Spinner) in 2017/18: 8/1, pulled up after another mistake tenth in race won by Ramses de Teillee at Chepstow last time (lost action): stays 3m: acts on good to firm and heavy going: wears cheekpieces: usually races close up: best treated with caution.

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27. Mustmeetalady

Good-topped gelding: winning hurdler: fairly useful handicap chaser: won at Doncaster (by neck from Vibrato Valtat) in 2017/18: off 7 months, pulled up last time: stays 3½m: acts on soft going: usually wears cheekpieces: often races towards rear: doesn't always convince with jumping/attitude.

28. Back To The Thatch

Winning hurdler: fairly useful chaser: won handicap at Chepstow (by 11 lengths from Catching On) in 2017/18: 9/2, stepped up on reappearance when 6 lengths fourth of 10 to Ramses de Teillee in similar event there last time, pulling clear of rest: stays 3m: acts on heavy going: often races towards rear.

29. Looks Like Power

Fair handicap hurdler: fairly useful chaser: won 2 handicaps at Chepstow (by 17 lengths from Zanstra second occasion) in 2017/18: off 8 months, 20/1, good 4½ lengths fourth of 7 to Monbeg Gold in handicap at Exeter on reappearance: stays 3m: acts on heavy going: wears headgear: usually in tongue tie (not last time): often travels strongly.

30. Tanit River

Tall gelding: fairly useful handicap hurdler: fairly useful handicap chaser: won at Sandown (by 3 lengths from Aubusson) in 2017/18: off 7 months, 20/1, considerately handled when 25¼ lengths eighth of 10 to Laurium at Warwick last time: stays 3m: acts on heavy going: has worn hood: wears tongue tie.

31. Two Smokin Barrels

Workmanlike mare: winning hurdler: fairly useful handicap chaser: won at Wincanton (by 1¼ lengths from Muffins For Tea) in 2017/18: 25/1, well below form in 5-runner listed mares event at Newbury last time: stays 25f: acts on heavy going.