Walk In The Mill set for Chepstow outing

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Walk In The Mill was a fine fourth in last year's Grand National.
Walk In The Mill was a fine fourth in last year's Grand National.

Walk In The Mill will step up his preparations for the Grand National at Aintree with a run over hurdles at Chepstow on Friday, having been confirmed as a runner at the final declarations stage on Thursday.

The ten-year-old has quickly established himself as something of a specialist over the National Course at Aintree, and became the first horse to ever win back-to-back renewals of the Becher Chase at the Merseyside track when recording a two and a half length success there back in December. 

He finished a fine fourth in between those efforts in last year's Aintree showpiece, and as he did 12 months ago, Robert Walford will now revert his stable star to the smaller obstacles in a bid to protect his mark before the weights announcement on Tuesday 11th February.

He said: "Walk In The Mill came out of the Becher in great form and the intention now is to run him over hurdles at Chepstow on Friday.

"It will be good just to get him out on the course and that is why we are going to run at Chepstow.

"This will probably be his last run before the Grand National. There are other races that we could run in, but I would like to go to Aintree with a fresh horse, so to run now suits our schedule."

Chepstow 14:20

This race is now finished - View Results

Chepstow Trade Centre Novices' Hurdle

  • 5YO plus, 7 Runners
  • Hurdle, Turf
  • Winner £3,769, 2nd £1,107, 3rd £553, 4th £277
  • Distance 2m 7f 131y
  • Going Heavy

Prediction:

  • 1st Blackjack Kentucky silk Blackjack Kentucky
  • 2nd Walk In The Mill silk Walk In The Mill
  • 3rd Mercian Knight silk Mercian Knight

Our Verdict

Walk In The Mill beat the subsequent Classic Chase winner Kimberlite Candy when notching his second victory in the Becher at Aintree last month. Robert Walford's talented gelding has to be respected reverting to hurdles, but the Grand National is the plan for him so Mercian Knight and BLACKJACK KENTUCKY are preferred. The latter gets the nod because he lines up in receipt of 7lb from Amy Murphy's gelding and is officially rated 7lb superior. Paul Nicholls' charge has finished second here the last twice behind the likes of The Big Breakaway and Jepeck, both subsequent winners, and that form leaps off the page.

Stats filter

Course Winner
Distance Winner
Won Last Time Out
Ran Within 30 Days
Number
Runner
Tips arrows-switch ico
Best Odds arrows-switch ico
  • Purple and yellow diabolo, yellow sleeves and cap
    1
    Mercian Knight
    • Jack Quinlan
    • Miss Amy Murphy
    • 6 years, 11-5
    • Form: 9-21

    Won on his latest outing in a hurdle race when evens fav at Doncaster over 3m (good to soft) in December last year, beating Terrierman by 1/2l.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner
    • Won Last Time Out

    Tipped by:

    • The Guardian
    Best Odds
    Purple and yellow diabolo, yellow sleeves and cap
    Mercian Knight Chepstow 14:20
    SP
  • Maroon, white hollow box, halved sleeves, quartered cap
    2
    Ask Me Early
    • Sean Bowen
    • H Fry
    • 6 years, 10-12
    • Form: 31

    A winner at 5-1fav in a point-to-point race at Kinsale over 3m on his latest outing in June last year, beating Hard Ground by 3/4l. Having his first run for a new stable today, previously with Pat O'Rourke in Ireland.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner
    • Won Last Time Out

    Tipped by:

    • The Scout - Daily Express
    Best Odds
    Maroon, white hollow box, halved sleeves, quartered cap
    Ask Me Early Chepstow 14:20
    SP
  • Mauve, black chevrons on sleeves, black cap
    3
    Blackjack Kentucky
    • Harry Cobden
    • P F Nicholls
    • 7 years, 10-12
    • Form: 1/833-22

    A winner of a point-to-point at 3m, but that win was over two years ago. Beaten 1 1/4l by Jepeck when second of 8 at 5-6fav on his latest outing in a hurdle race over this course and distance (soft) in December last year.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner

    Naps:

    • Robin Goodfellow - Daily Mail

    Tipped by:

    • Robin Goodfellow - Daily Mail
    • Newsboy - Daily Mirror
    • Garry Owen - Daily Record
    • Steve Mason - RP Ratings
    • Mel Cullinan - SPOTLIGHT
    • TOPSPEED
    • Marlborough - Telegraph
    Best Odds
    Mauve, black chevrons on sleeves, black cap
    Blackjack Kentucky Chepstow 14:20
    SP
  • Maroon, yellow star, yellow sleeves, white armlets, yellow cap, maroon star
    4
    Orsino
    • J E Moore
    • P Bowen
    • 6 years, 10-12
    • Form: P6

    Unplaced in both starts over hurdles. Well beaten at 40-1 behind Grand Roi when sixth of 8 on his latest outing in a maiden hurdle race at Fakenham over 2m (good to soft) earlier this month.

    Best Odds
    Maroon, yellow star, yellow sleeves, white armlets, yellow cap, maroon star
    Orsino Chepstow 14:20
    SP
  • Dark blue, white stripe and sleeves
    5
    Walk In The Mill
    • Mr J C Bowen
    • R Walford
    • 10 years, 10-12
    • Form: 1334-P1

    Winner of six chases from 2m 1f to 3m 2f on good to soft and soft ground. A winner at 8-1 in a Grade 3 chase in the Group 3 Becher Handicap Chase at Aintree over 3m 2f (soft) on his latest outing in December last year, beating Kimberlite Candy by 2 1/2l.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner
    • Won Last Time Out

    Naps:

    • Andrew Bladen - Wolverhampton Express & Star

    Tipped by:

    • POSTDATA
    • Jason Heavey - The Star
    • Templegate - The Sun
    • Rob Wright - The Times
    Best Odds
    Dark blue, white stripe and sleeves
    Walk In The Mill Chepstow 14:20
    SP
  • Purple, yellow chevron, hooped sleeves and star on cap
    6
    Janeslittlevoice
    • R T Dunne
    • R G Hawker
    • 6 years, 10-5
    • Form: PP-23

    Placed in two point-to-points from four starts. Third of 11 behind Lady Sally beaten 10l at 10-1fav on her latest outing in a point-to-point race at Barbury Racecourse over 2m 4f in December last year. Having her first run for a new stable today.

    Best Odds
    Purple, yellow chevron, hooped sleeves and star on cap
    Janeslittlevoice Chepstow 14:20
    SP
  • Dark blue, pink stars on sleeves, dark blue cap, pink star
    7
    Memphis Bell
    • Conor Ring
    • Evan Williams
    • 6 years, 10-5
    • Form: 95

    Unplaced in both starts over hurdles. Well beaten at 20-1 behind Kilconny Bridge when fifth of 6 on her latest outing in a maiden hurdle race at Exeter over 2m 7f (heavy) earlier this month.

    Best Odds
    Dark blue, pink stars on sleeves, dark blue cap, pink star
    Memphis Bell Chepstow 14:20
    SP
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Walk In The Mill took his chance off a mark of 144 in last year's National, and will likely line up off a much higher mark this time around after a career-best effort last time out. However, an ability to cope with the unique fences at Aintree is a huge asset, and it's a challenge Walford is looking forward to.

He added: "He has been a brilliant horse for me. He just seems to love those fences at Aintree and it is exciting to have a live Grand National contender on our hands."

Walk In The Mill is currently a 20/1 chance for the National behind the dual winner and defending champion Tiger Roll, who's a clear 5/1 favourite, while each of Burrows Saint, Kimberlite Candy and last year's runner-up Magic Of Light are all available alongside Walford's charge in the betting at 20/1.

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