Byline: firstname.lastname@example.org GARRY OWEN
UPSWING will have to dig deep if he is to give trainer Jonjo O'Neill and owner JP McManus their third win in Saturday's marathon Coral Welsh Grand National.
The eight-year-old won twice on heavy over hurdles and saw the trip out well when runnerup in a Grade 3 chase over an extended 3m3f at Cheltenham in November, but the going remains a concern for Jonjo.
The trainer said: "Upswing is in good form and Barry Geraghty has been booked to ride at Chepstow where he should get the trip okay but the ground would be a big worry. He's by Beneficial, whose progeny do go through it, but I fear the ground won't suit any horse."
Connections last won the Welsh National with subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised five years ago and were also successful with Mini Sensation in 2002.
Hill: 8 Midnight Prayer, Upswing, 9 Cogry, Mountainous, 10 Emperors Choice, Shotgun Paddy, 12 Tour Des Champs, 14 Return Spring, Theatre Guide, Vics Canvas, 16 bar.
| The latest Willie Mullins potential superstar could get the chance to further enhance his reputation as Min is the star name in the novice hurdle at Punchestown on Saturday.
He was already one of the favourites for the Supreme before a startling 14-length victory at Punchestown on his debut for Mullins.
That saw him harden to around 3-1 fav for the Festival opener and for those punters who like trends, they will be pleased that the last two winners of the Punchestown Grade Two, stablemates Vautour and Douvan, both claimed this race before Cheltenham glory.
| Venetia Williams has her team in great shape and TARA FLOW (2.40) can turn it on at Huntingdon.
The Kayf Tara mare opened her account in a modest maiden hurdle at Uttoxeter before blitzing her rivals on heavy ground on her handicap debut at Leicester. Eased down by Aidan Coleman that day, a seven pound rise won't stop her.
COLEMAN Go with the Flow