Twenty runners have been declared for the Coral Welsh National which is due to take place at Chepstow Racecourse, tomorrow, 28 December 2013.
Among those still in contention are favourites, Goonyella, Well Refreshed and Highland Lodge with the notable absence of the Donald McCain trained Sydney Paget, who will not make the line-up.
Fresh off the back of winning his eighth King George Chase at Kempton yesterday with Silvianaco Conti, trainer Paul Nicholls will saddle top-weight Tidal Bay in the hopes of adding to his Christmas racing haul and has confirmed that Grand National winning jockey, Daryl Jacob, will be on board to guide the 12-year-old around the heavy course.
He has also declared Hawkes Point with Ryan Mahon and is one of only four trainers to have two or more entries from the twenty due to run.
Nigel Twiston-Davies will have two chances to win the Coral Welsh National when he sends out six-year-old Tour Des Champs with Sam Twiston-Davies on board as well as Red Rocco with jockey Adam Wedge taking the reins.
David Pipe holds the largest number of runners with three taking their chances. Goulanes is the heaviest weighted and will run off 10-06 when partnered with Tom Scudamore with Amigo and Ace High both on the minimum 10-00. Conor O'Farrell will ride Amigo.
Other notable entries include last year's Coral Welsh National runner-up Teaforthree. Trained by Rebecca Curtis, he went well last year under A.P. McCoy and followed that up with a third place at the Aintree Grand National with Nick Scholfield on board but this time around it will be Patrick Corbett who will partner him as Scholfield rides Unioniste for Paul Nicholls in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.
A decent run in the Becher Chase earlier this month and things are also looking good for the David Bridgwater trained Wyck Hill. Owned by JP McManus, he will be ridden by Tom O'Brien and will run off a very reasonable 10-03, which will also be the lowest of his career to date.
Aintree Grand National winning duo Sue Smith and Ryan Mania will once again be renewing their very successful partnership as they bid to get the Trevor Hemmings owned Vintage Star across the finishing post first. He pulled up in the RSA Chase back in March but has come back this season in great form finishing second to one of his Welsh National competitors, Hey Big Spender, at Newcastle at the end of November.
But it's the Jim Dreaper trained Goonyella who has consistently been the race favourite with the bookmakers. The six-year-old, who has seven chase starts under his belt, is to be paired with jockey Andrew Lynch and will run off a mark of 10-01.
Run over a distance of 3m 5f, the Chepstow showdown is a difficult challenge for both horse and rider and is one of the racing calendars most spectacular events. This year's renewal sees a prize fund that pays out to six places in the following amounts; 1st £56,950.00 2nd £21,370.00 3rd £10,700.00 4th £5,330.00 5th £2,680.00 6th £1,340.00.