Walk In The Mill set for Chepstow outing

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 , 2m 7f 131y , Heavy
  • Winner £3,769, 2nd £1,107, 3rd £553, 4th £277


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.

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Purple and yellow diabolo, yellow sleeves and cap
1 Tip
Jack Quinlan%
Miss Amy Murphy %
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
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.D.
OR: 120, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
The Guardian
Maroon, white hollow box, halved sleeves, quartered cap
1 Tip
Sean Bowen%
Harry Fry %
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
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.D.
RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
Daily Express
The Scout
Mauve, black chevrons on sleeves, black cap
1 Nap
7 Tips
Harry Cobden%
P F Nicholls %
Age: 7
Weight: 10-12
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.D, BF.
OR: 127, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
Daily Mirror
Daily Record
Garry Owen
RP Ratings
Steve Mason
Mel Cullinan
Daily Mail
Robin Goodfellow
Maroon, yellow star, yellow sleeves, white armlets, yellow cap, maroon star
J E Moore%
Peter Bowen %
Age: 6
Weight: 10-12
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.
RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Dark blue, white stripe and sleeves
1 Nap
5 Tips
Mr J C Bowen%
R Walford %
Age: 10
Weight: 10-12
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.D.
OR: 140, RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Tipped By:
The Star
Jason Heavey
The Sun
The Times
Rob Wright
Wolverhampton Express & Star
Andrew Bladen
Purple, yellow chevron, hooped sleeves and star on cap
R T Dunne%
R G Hawker %
Age: 6
Weight: 10-5
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.h1 .
RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Dark blue, pink stars on sleeves, dark blue cap, pink star
Conor Ring%
Evan Williams %
Age: 6
Weight: 10-5
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.
RPR: -, Topspeed: -
Reading the racecard:
• 1 (5) = Horse number with the draw number in brackets.
• Number alongside the horse name is the days since the horse last ran.
• Numbers/letters under the jockey silk is the horse form with the most recent figure on the right. Numbers = finishing position (0 = finished outside the top 10), P = pulled up, F = fell, U = Unseated, B = brought down, R = refused, C = carried out, D = disqualified, HR = hit rails, L = left at start, O = ran out, S = slipped up, V = void race. A dash between figures indicates a year between the runs and a slash indicates a new season.
• % alongside jockey/trainer names = strike rate in last 30 days.
• Key to pointers: C = Course winner, D = Distance winner, CD = Course & Distance winner, BF = Beaten Favourite last time out, WS = Has had wind surgery since last run, LT = Longest Travellers, b = Wearing blinkers, b1 = Wearing blinkers for the first time, h = Wearing a hood, h1 = Wearing a hood for the first time, t = Wearing a tongue strap, t1 = Wearing a tongue strap for the first time, v = Wearing a visor, v1 = Wearing a visor for the first time, p = Wearing cheek pieces. OR = Official Rating. RPR = Racing Post Rating. Topspeed is a figure calculated using race times and the going to show how fast the horse can run.
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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.

Grand National Tips
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