By Simon Jackson.
Betfair reckon that the re-scheduled Coral Welsh Grand National will go ahead on Saturday as racecourses in the UK brace themselves for more heavy rain this week.
Inspections have already been called ahead of Friday’s meeting at Wetherby and Wincanton on Saturday, but Betfair this afternoon (Wednesday) offer 4-11 that the Welsh Grand National takes place at Chepstow on Saturday.
“Despite the unsettled forecast we make it 4-11 that the track gets the nod to race on Saturday,” Betfair spokesman Barry Orr said.
“A heavy ground Welsh National is nothing new and with a bit of luck the track will miss any significant rain expected in the area.
“With other tracks already struggling ahead of Saturday everyone will be praying the rain swerves Chepstow.”
The Coral Welsh National was originally scheduled for December 27 but was postponed to January 9 because of bad weather.
The 2013 winner Mountainous, trained by first-season handler Kerry Lee who took over the licence from her father Richard Lee who retired at the end of the last jumps season, is joint favourite at 7-1 with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Cogry for the rescheduled fixture.
Mountainous was pulled up in the 2014 Welsh National and has failed to win in three starts this season on unsuitably good ground.
“Mountainous definitely goes for the Coral Welsh National again. He is very well and I am very happy with him,” Kerry Lee said before the original fixture was postponed.
“He will have to carry a bit more weight than he did when he won the race before. He will like the heavy ground.”
Next in the betting at 8-1 is Emperor’s Choice who won the Grade 3 contest in 2014. He showed his well-being ahead of this year’s race when he belied a near 11 month absence to win a handicap chase at Haydock on his comeback in November.
“Emperor’s Choice is heading back to the Coral Welsh National,” said trainer Venetia Williams who also won the race with Jocks Cross in 2000.
“It was a good comeback win at Haydock, although he does pay for it by coming back to Chepstow with more weight.”
Betfair prices: Will racing go ahead – Chepstow Saturday 9th January: Yes 4-11, No 2-1
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.