Who Will Win the Welsh Grand National?

Beware The Bear put down a marker for the Welsh Grand National with a fine win to start his 2017-18 National Hunt season. The Irish horse had not competed in the early stages of the campaign, but returned to action after an eight-month absence to notch the fifth victory of his career. The result will make his rivals aware of his speed for the meet at Chepstow, with the bay gelding and his team eyeing the first major triumph of his career at the end of December.

 

There are quality competitors that will challenge Beware The Bear at the event. None more so than Rock The Kasbah, who has enjoyed a strong run of form at the racecourse. Therefore it will be worth monitoring the odds for the Welsh Grand National and earlier races when online at sportsbet.io as the meet will be extremely competitive due to the quality of the field. We’ll now break down the horses that will be vying for the crown and their form throughout their respective careers.

 

Beware The Bear

beware the bear

Source: Steve_Grocutt via Twitter

 

Nicky Henderson’s charge began his career in Uttoxeter and notched a second-place finish on his debut, although he was comfortably beaten down the stretch by four lengths by race favourite Onefitzall. The bay gelding’s second race did not go to plan with Freddie Mitchell in the saddle. Although he kept pace with the leaders in the early stages of the race, the Irish horse was unable to make a meaningful impact, finishing fourth, well behind the eventual winner, Born Survivor. Beware The Bear’s winless run continued in his next outing at Haydock Park in the Novices’ Handicap Hurdle. A mistake towards the end of the race was to cost the bay gelding, leaving him off the pace down the stretch as Sharpasaknife claimed the victory.

 

Beware The Bear broke his duck in the Maiden Hurdle at Bangor-on-Dee with a change of jockey in the form of Jeremiah McGrath. He was considered the favourite of the event, but had a slow start to the meet. However, the Irish horse was able to pull away from the rest of the field to claim a dominant win by 29 lengths. Henderson’s charge ended his first season in the sport on a high note with a fine run at Southwell, delivering a strong performance to secure the triumph by eight lengths.

 

The Irish horse made his debut at Ascot at the start of the 2016-17 National Hunt campaign in the UK Chase. Although he was named the joint-favourite for the event, Beware The Bear defeated Singlefarmpayment by a comfortable margin down the stretch, beating out his rival by two-and-three-quarter lengths. With McGrath in the saddle, the bay gelding made it four wins on the bounce with a triumph at Newbury in the CSP Chase. Despite his form, Henderson’s charge was unable to rise to the occasion in his first appearance at Cheltenham Festival. He was a strong contender for the National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase title, but placed well off the pace in seventh with the worst performance of his career. He ended the season on a low note with another below-par outing at Ayr Racecourse, placing in fourth well off the pace even though he was the favourite for the contest.

 

Beware The Bear began the new campaign on a high note, suggesting that he was back to his best form with a fine performance at Newcastle. The bay gelding won the even by two-and-three-quarter lengths, which will send the Irish horse into the Welsh Grand National with momentum. At his best, he can certainly win the event, although he cannot afford to lose his composure on the big stage.

 

Rock The Kasbah

Source: mjyharris via Twitter

 

The Irish horse began his career at the site of the Grand National at Chepstow. In his first outing, he was considered the leading contender for the win, but finished second on his debut. However, Philip Hobbs’ charge delivered his first victory in his second race at the Maiden Open NH Flat Race, dominating the rest of the field. With James Best in the saddle, he continued his momentum with victory at the Novices’ Hurdle at Fontwell Park.

 

The chestnut gelding’s fine run of form came to an end at Taunton with an underwhelming performance at the National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, while he was also beaten at The Racehorse Sanctuary Novices’ Hurdle. Rock The Kasbah found his form with a strong win at the Racing Novices’ Hurdle, edging out compatriot Inner Drive by a nose. Hobbs’ charge suffered the first failure of his career, ending his debut campaign on a low by pulling up at Ayr Racecourse.

 

To start the new campaign Hobbs put his charge forward for the Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Chepstow. However, he suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of outsider Court Minstrel, although he did manage to get back to winning ways, stringing two victories together at Haydock Park and in his first appearance at Ascot in Holloway’s Handicap Hurdle. The narrow win by half-a-length at Ascot over Baron Alco sent him into Cheltenham Festival with a good performance under his belt. The chestnut gelding produced the worst display of his career at the Coral Cup, failing to find a rhythm during the meet, placing all the way down in 22nd out of 26 competitors. Rock The Kasbah ended his season with another poor outing in his debut at Aintree.

 

At the start of the new campaign, he was able to find form at Chepstow with a solid performance in the Novices’ Chase. The seven-year-old was unable to sustain his rhythm on the track, finishing off the pace in his next three outings at Cheltenham, Ascot and Sandown Park. Chepstow was his saving grace to get back to winning ways with a fine performance in another Novices’ Chase outing, narrowly overcoming Swincombe Scorchio, displaying his stamina to fend off the outsider. Rock The Kasbah ended the last campaign with a meek performance at the Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Sandown Park, lacking the pace at the crucial moment of the race to close on the leaders.

 

For all of his issues elsewhere, Hobbs’ charge made it three wins on the bounce at Chepstow with victory in the Handicap Chase at the beginning of October. The chestnut gelding’s form at the venue certainly make him a formidable opponent for any horse in the field.

 

Chase The Spud

 

Source: UttoxeterRaces via Twitter

 

The horse had a slow start to his career, but could pose a challenge due to his strong run of results in 2017. Fergal O’Brien’s charge was off the pace in the opening three races of his career, but with Timmy Murphy in the saddle, he made his breakthrough at the Michael Quinlan Memorial Novices’ Hurdle at Huntington Racecourse to win by 17 lengths. The bay gelding lost momentum towards the end of the campaign and did not register another victory until the start of the 2014-15 National season. At Exeter in the Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, he delivered a fine performance to secure a dominant victory over the rest of the field, beating his nearest rival by six lengths. The rest of the campaign was lost as Chase The Spud pulled up in his next two outings before O’Brien called time on the term in January.

 

His form returned at the start of the new season and at Lingfield Park in the Intermediate Handicap Chase, the horse almost notched the third win of his career. He took the lead in the closing stages of the meet, but was not able to fend off the challenge of Wilton Milan losing out by a neck. The bay gelding’s first experience of the Welsh Grand National did not go to plan as he pulled up at the 12th fence, although he was not in contention anyway. The nine-year-old was able to bounce back with a victory at Exeter in the Bridgwater Graduation Chase with another comfortable finish. He returned to Chepstow at the end of the season, and although he didn’t claim a victory, Chase The Spud was able to complete the race in third place.

 

The new campaign was to be a struggle for O’Brien’s charge. He placed in the top three in only one of his four races to begin the term in the Handicap Chase at Haydock Park, struggling immensely in his other three meets. However, his fortune was to change at Uttoxeter in the Midlands Grand National. With Paddy Brennan in the saddle, the bay gelding was able to overcome two mistakes at the start of the race to come through the field. He surged down the final stretch of the course and was able to beat out Mysteree with a strong finish, clinching his place in the winners’ circle.

 

He secured back-to-back victories for the first time in his career by beginning the 2017-18 season with a win at Haydock Park in the Handicap Chase. Chase The Spud secured a comfortable victory by six lengths, dominating the rest of the field. O’Brien’s charge has the ability to win the Welsh Grand National as he has proved when he’s at his best it’s hard to surpass him on the track.

 

2.10 Hereford, Wednesday, November 29

herefordPlantagenet failed in his bid for a five-timer when switched to fences at Plumpton earlier this month, but nevertheless made a highly promising debut over the larger obstacles and can open his account in that sphere in the Level Peakes Associates Handicap Chase (2.10) at Hereford on Wednesday. The Plumpton form has already been franked by the winner, Cucklington, who followed up in convincing style, off a 5lb higher mark, at Wincanton last Thursday, so Plantaganet must have every chance of regaining the winning thread off an identical handicap mark. Seamus Mullins’ 5-year-old has done all his winning on good, or faster, ground, so should be in his element and is far from fully exposed after just five starts for his current connections.

 

Selection: Hereford 2.10 Plantaganet to win   13/8

 

3.40 Newcastle, Wednesday, November 15

In the Betway Casino Handicap (3.40) at Newcastle on Wednesday, Tonto’s Spirit seems sure to be popular after winning his last two starts by an aggregate of 20 lengths. However, Kenneth Slack’s 5-year-old has yet to race on a synthetic surface of any kind and that lack of experience, coupled with an 8lb rise in the weights in a better race, is good reason to oppose the Authorized gelding on his Tapeta debut.

 

By contrast, Waiting For Richie won over course and distance on his penultimate start and was only beaten three-quarters of a length, off a 1lb lower mark, in a 0-90 contest at Newmarket 12 days ago. The form of his course and distance win has been franked by the third, Dominating, and Tom Tate’s 4-year-old remains unexposed at, or beyond, 2 miles, having only had three starts at that sort of distance. The son of European Champion 3-year-old Rail Link is clearly blessed with an abundance of stamina and represents a yard with a 7-15 (47%) strike on the Tapeta at Newcastle this season.

 

Selection: Newcastle 3.40 Waiting For Richie to win

 

2.30 Carlisle, Sunday, November 5

In the Cumberland Handicap Chase (2.30) at Carlisle on Sunday, Templeross started favourite for a beginners’ chase, over 2 miles 4 furlongs, on his debut over regulation fences at Uttoxeter four weeks ago on the strength of a couple of decent placed efforts over hurdles last winter. Although failing to justify his position as market leader on that occasion, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 6-year-old was entitled to need the run – his first since February – and was far from disgraced, staying on at one pace from three out to finish fourth of the seven finishers, beaten 13 lengths. The Presenting gelding fell on his sole point start at Loughanmore two seasons ago, but didn’t make a semblance of a mistake at Uttoxeter and, while he has his stamina to prove over a testing 3 miles 2 furlongs, he did win over 3 miles, albeit on a flat, galloping track, over hurdles last season.

Helpfully, the handicapper has dropped him 3lb since Uttoxeter, so he can race off a mark just 1lb higher than when second, beaten 2¾ lengths, behind Modus in the valuable Lanzarote Handicap Hurdle at Kempton last January. Modus went on to finish sixth in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, off an 11lb higher mark, so if Templeross can translate his form over hurdles to the larger obstacles he looks favourably weighted to open his account in his new discipline.

Selection: Carlisle 2.30 Templeross to win

 

Greatest Moments in Horse Racing History

 

Horse racing is often seen as much more than just a sport. It is a tradition, a status and a constant battle all at once. While many have tried to bet horses online or right at the racetrack bookies, the partnership of two living beings – the horse and the jockey – can turn up rather unpredictable.

 

The following list is a reminder of just that – the most incredible moments in horse racing history, some even making a mark in the sport’s record books.

 

 

Crisp vs. Red Rum

 

At the 1973 Aintree Grand National race, spectators were able to witness one of the impressive catch-ups. With a 20 lengths lead and just a couple of fences to go, Crisp was the definite champion in everyone’s eyes. However, in a stunning turn of events, Red Rum managed to pick up speed and not only level, but also surpass his dominant figure. Having won this race by a ¾ length against Crisp, Red Rum gained momentum and continued this trend in the next two Grand Nationals.

 

 

Grundy vs. Bustino

 

The ‘Race of the Century’ would have crashed traffic capabilities on most racebook software for bookies should they have existed in the distant 1975. In the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Ascot audience watched a live showdown between two Europe champions, three-year-old Grundy and four-year-old Bustino.

 

A tie dominated the 1 mile 4 furlong race result up until the end which saw Grundy push speed limits with amazing effort and win by ½ a length. Unsurprisingly, this also bought the winner a place in record books that stands until this day as Grundy managed to finish the race in 2 minutes and 26.98 seconds, 2 and ½ seconds faster than the previous record holder.

 

 

Mine That Bird

 

On a soggy racing day not too long ago in 2009, the Kentucky Derby went down in history as the race which saw the most amazing comeback. Mine That Bird was evidently not considered a success story, as the horse’s odds for that race were 50 to 1, and the start of the race seemed to prove that prediction. After being 8 lengths behind the rest, Mine That Bird and its jockey somehow transformed and achieved their goal to end victorious with nothing short of a 6 and ¾ length lead that even left commentators dumbfounded for a moment.

 

 

Secretariat

 

Secretariat is a well-known legend whose story even enjoyed success on the big screens, primarily due to the record-breaking achievement at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. This winner’s time of 2 minutes and 24 seconds still stands, but this horse refused to stop there. Many claimed that something about Secretariat made it destined for great things, which proved true as the horse went on to win the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the same year.
Such was the glory of Secretariat that some horse racing enthusiasts still hold on to their winning betting tickets from that day, unwilling to have them cashed in due to sentimental value.

 

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