Welsh Grand National 2021 Runners Guide & Ante Post Odds: Native River tops list of 30 entries
Thirty horses have been entered for the 2021 Welsh Grand National, which takes place at Chepstow behind closed doors on December 27, and among the star-studded field is former winner Native River, who bids for a second win in the race...
A winner way back in 2016, Native River used the Chepstow marathon success as a springboard to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory, and now at the age of 11 years old the Colin Tizzard-trained legend will bid to defy top weight and land victory once again. However, having struggled last time out when well beaten by Protektorat in the Many Clouds Chase at Aintree, the much-loved star is relatively unfancied to land this prize again, and is as big as 25/1 with bookmakers for Welsh National glory.
Heading the betting is last year's emphatic winner Secret Reprieve (5/1), who will be a leading player for Evan Williams, and while he will have a tougher task on his hands this year, as he lines up on a 6lb higher mark here, the manner in which he bounded to glory in the 2020 running suggests he has to be a key contender once again.
An impressive winner of the Grand National Trial at Punchestown earlier in his career, the Peter Fahey-trained The Big Dog will be a leading protagonist for the Irish here, and he's available at 7/1, while another duo available at single figures are the Venetia Williams-trained Hold That Thought (8/1), who won at Carlisle last time out, while London National winner Highland Hunter could line up for Paul Nicholls, and he too is 8/1.
The Welsh Grand National Trial can often provide some vital clues and the winner of the 2021 renewal was the Sam Thomas-trained Iwilldoit, and he's a 12/1 chance to follow up, while second that day Colorado Doc is also among the 30-strong entry list and he's available at a best-priced 20/1.
Another former winner in the shape of Elegant Escape could bid to regain the crown he won back in 2018, and is another of the Tizzard former champions bidding for more glory and he's a 25/1 chance with some firms, while the Jessica Harrington-trained Discordantly (16/1) is an eye-catching Irish entry, who has to be respected if making the trip over from the Emerald Isle.
David Pipe has five entered for the race with the most eye-catching duo being the classy Ramses De Teillee (20/1), who will look to improve on a ninth placed finish in last year's race, while Via Doloroso (50/1) adds more depth to the Pond House team.
Potters Corner is the third former winner of the race potentially taking their chance here, and fresh from a narrow defeat over the Cross Country track at Cheltenham, the Christian Williams-trained stayer is another eye-catching double-figured price (16/1) who could make a notable showing for glory in a race awash with class and intriguing.