Last year’s Coral sponsored Welsh National was won by the Richard Lee trained Le Beau Bai, but can the nine year old complete a memorable double? Cheltenham National Hunt Chase victor Teaforthree (pictured, striped silks) is the current favourite with the sponsors, but we’re not interested in either of these. Read on, for our 2012 Welsh National preview and tips…
We’ve analysed the last 12 winners of the Welsh National to build up a profile of what is required to win the Chepstow marathon. Here are the important trends that we’ve spotted:
- All of the last 12 horses to win the Welsh National were aged between 6 and 9
It’s a fairly even spread, but all of the last 12 Welsh National winners were aged 6 to 9. Horses aged ten or older have a dreadful record in the race, while very few five year olds even attempt the race.
- All of the last 12 Welsh National winners had previously scored over 3m or further
- 11 of the last 12 winners had placed in a Graded or Listed chase
- 10 of the last 12 had won no more than two handicap chases
What we can gather from these Welsh National trends are that proven stamina is an absolute must, in what is a notoriously testing race; a degree of class is required to win a Welsh National; and we don’t want a horse that’s over-exposed to the handicapper.
- All of the last 12 Welsh National winners had run in the past 55 days
- 11 of the last 12 winners had finished in the front four last time out
- 11 of the last 12 Welsh National winners had run once or twice so far that season
From these trends we can glean that race fitness is a must and a degree a form is also helpful, but we should avoid horses that have already had a few runs this season as they are unlikely to be fresh enough to win the testing Welsh National.
By applying all of the above trends to the 2012 Welsh National field we can drastically reduce it, leaving four potential selections: Michel Le Bon, Alfie Sherrin, Monbeg Dude and Major Malarkey.
My initial preference would be for Alfie Sherrin, as he ended his campaign last season in some style. A winner at the Cheltenham festival in the JLT Specialty Handicap Chase over three miles, he followed that up with a third place finish in the 3m 5f Irish National at Fairyhouse (previous National form is usually a good indicator of future success). Another positive is his course form, which reads 13 from his two appearances at Chepstow. His current best price of 20/1 (21.00) with Totesport could be great value.
On a similar note, I’m also quite drawn to Major Malarkey. The nine year old doesn’t win as often as he might, but one of his two chase victories came at Chepstow and he finished second in last season’s Midlands National. My only gripe with him is that he’s yet to run this season, but he does have an entry in a chase at Sandown this weekend. If he goes well in that, the current odds of 26.00 (25/1) with Welsh National sponsors Coral may well shorten.
2012 Welsh National
Thursday December 27th, 14:10
Alfie Sherrin (Each-Way) @ 20/1 (21.00) with Totesport
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