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Spud set to roast rivals.

PATIENCE is said to be a virtue and Chase The Spud can prove the point by making the 10-day wait for the rearranged Coral Welsh Grand National a rewarding one with victory at Chepstow.

Fergal O'Brien's gelding was well fancied to land the spoils last week and nothing has changed in the interim.

The 10-year-old has an established record in the marathon staying handicap department, having ground out victory over Mysteree in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter in March. After a richly-deserved long summer off, Chase The Spud made his seasonal reappearance at Haydock six weeks ago over three and a half miles on heavy ground.

He had to display more courage and determination to beat Robinsfirth by six lengths, with 24 lengths back to the third horse, Cloudy Too.

Inevitably, Chase The Spud has gone up in the ratings again but the stable is on a high at the moment and he has the right attributes to cope with a big weight and when conditions demand it.

Mercenaire can give trainer Nick Williams a third success in the Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle.

The Devon handler saddled Me Voici to take this Grade One contest in 2009, while Le Rocher struck in 2013.

He has found another suitable contender in Mercenaire, who was impressive when making most of the running to score by 25 lengths at Exeter in November.

The progressive Western Ryder looks the answer to an intriguing renewal of the 32Red Tolworth Novices' Hurdle at Sandown.

The Warren Greatrextrained six-year-old has shown the right attributes in winning his completed races over jumps at Chepstow and Cheltenham after unseating his rider at Stratford in November.

He beat Lalor in tidy fashion last time out and can take the step up to Grade One company in his stride James Fanshawe's stayer Lord George has the ability to give weight all round in the 32Red Handicap at Kempton.

The five-year-old gelding has some good form in big handicaps, notably when fourth to stablemate Higher Power in the Northumberland Plate.

He has been knocking on the door of late and this could finally be his turn to strike for the first time since September 2016, which coincidentally came on this track.

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Chase The Spud has all the attributes to win the Coral Welsh Grand National

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 6, 2018
Words:388
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