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ITV Racing Tips: Our best bets on Welsh Grand National day

Runners Pass Grandstand Jumps Race Generic Welsh National Chepstow

After the absolute racing feast that was Boxing Day, you'd be forgiven for thinking National Hunt fans would have a low-key day to follow. That is certainly not the case this Tuesday with another stacked card of action headlined by the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow. The ITV cameras will of course be in town again and Billy Grimshaw has got three best bets for the action...

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13:05 - Chepstow - Coral Get Closer To The Action Handicap Chase

Team Emma Lavelle will undoubtedly be on cloud nine after Paisley Park's brilliant Boxing Day win in the Long Distance Hurdle and they can kick things off in similar form with RED ROOKIE in the first race set to be broadcast from the Welsh track. Priced up at 7/1 at the time of writing, to me that's a couple of points too big for one with so much upside. Still only seven and with just a few miles on the clock, he ran with enormous credit when last sighted on a racecourse in the Arkle back in March at Cheltenham.

Obviously in the end he was outclassed by Edwardstone, but there is no disgrace in that judging off what that one has done before and since. Red Rookie fell at the second last when well beaten which may explain his absence since, but he jumped and travelled quite well at championship pace up to that point and that should stand him in good stead for his return here. Last January he won impressively at Hereford under Tom Bellamy and although this is a stronger contest than that one, if Red Rookie can kick on from what he's already shown he can at the very least be in the shake up for place honours.

Coral Get Closer To The Action Handicap Chase
Red Rookie silk

Red Rookie (EW)

lost

13:20 - Kempton - Wayward Lad Novices' Chase

Boothill looks set to be the hot favourite for this contest and his claims are obvious, with some very smart hurdling form and a promising chasing debut after some injury problems. He was brushed aside by short priced Arkle favourite Jonbon last time out and as good as that one looks, Boothill was so easily dismissed I'm inclined to take him on at the current price of evens. In at second favourite is LAC DE CONSTANCE for the Skelton team and although their poor Boxing Day form is concerning, he looks the one to side with in this contest.

Coming in on the back of a four timer, his chasing debut was really exciting when blitzing away from Hudson De Grugy at this same track and trip in late November. He attacked his fences with real zest that day and with more improvement sure to come for that debut and another small field in store at a course he obviously enjoys, Skelton's charge looks the value play at 15/8 with BoyleSports. 

Horse Racing Tips

Wayward Lad Novices' Chase
Lac De Constance silk

Lac De Constance

Unseated
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14:50 - Chepstow - Welsh Grand National

In his big race preview, Steve Chambers has made the case for Pat's Fancy taking out this prize. You can read that piece here and Pat's Fancy was certainly high up my shortlist, but the one I'm plumping for to take out the biggest prize in Welsh racing is THE BIG DOG. Peter Fahey certainly won't just be sending this one over for the day out and he has looked like he's crying out for a marathon test for sometime now. 

The Big Dog has been better than ever this campaign, winning twice at double figure odds over three miles over in Ireland and his last victory was arguably a career best at Navan. He always looked comfortable travelling around in the first few and when Keith Donoghue started to turn the screw he began to eat up the gap between himself and the leader. Despite some iffy jumping his superb engine saw him to a cosy looking win in the end and the extra six and a half furlongs and presumably slower pace should mean his jumping can improve. There are plenty of well handicapped dangers in the field but The Big Dog looks rock solid to me and if he can avoid any mishaps or bad luck he should be in contention coming to the finish and be able to show that finishing kick once more.

Welsh Grand National
The Big Dog silk

The Big Dog (EW)

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