2019 Welsh Grand National Trial tips – Two against the field for Saturday’s Chepstow feature

Get Brian Healy's two tips against the field for Saturday's feature Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow where he takes a look at the early entries.

While most of Saturday’s interest will fall at Sandown and Aintree respectively, it is easy to overlook a competitive renewal of the Welsh Grand National Trial which goes to post at 1.55pm as the fourth race of the afternoon at Chepstow.

The three-mile contest carries a first prize of over £12,600 to the winner as well as a place in the Festive feature race at the Welsh venue over the Christmas period, and a potential field of 13 runners could go to post for the long distance contest.

Brian Healy looks through the early list of entries for Saturday’s feature race in Wales, and he picks out his best bet for the three-mile Welsh highlight.

First selection – IMPULSIVE STAR (Neil Mulholland)

There is a suspicion that lightly-raced IMPULSIVE STAR (SP) could have more to offer over fences despite ending last term on a low-note when pulled up in the Scottish Grand National, and Neil Mulholland’s charge could be worth chancing to bounce back on his seasonal reappearance given that he has a very good record fresh.

The Busy Flight gelding made a good start to his campaign last season, finishing runner-up at Plumpton behind the classy Ok Corral, but he stepped up on that effort to tough out a win in the Grade Three Classic Chase at Warwick next time where he beat Callett Mad.

Things didn’t go to plan for him following a break, pulled up behind Le Breuil in the National Hunt Cup and then again failing to complete at Ayr where he didn’t jump well. However, he is lightly raced for one of his age, and he has won first-time up in the past.

Fully effective on softer ground, his current handicap mark remains workable, and likely to have conditions to suit he could be worth chancing on his reappearance given his solid record when fresh on his return to action.

Fresh could be the time to catch Neil Mulholland’s Impulsive Star.

Second selection – Holdbacktheriver (Evan Williams)

HOLDBACKTHERIVER (SP) currently sits out of the weights, but Evan Williams’ charge could go well back up in trip having found the lesser distance here on his last start too sharp.

The Presenting gelding is unexposed over fences having had just five starts in this discipline which includes a win over this trip at Bangor back in January, although subsequent efforts over hurdles and fences have been less than inspiring.

That said, he probably needed his reappearance at Exeter in November when beating only two rivals home behind Orchardstown Cross, crossing the line by the thick end of 60 lengths adrift of the winner. But he ran better than the bare result last time, unsuited by the sharper test and he should prove more effective back at this longer distance.

He had to carry a big weight last time, but he is proven in soft ground and he turned in an improved performance on that latest occasion; and if he can build again on that outing then he could post a big effort despite this being a tougher race than he has tackled to date over the larger obstacles, while his Bangor success earlier came from a higher mark than this albeit in a lesser grade.

Holdbacktheriver could be allocated a feather-weight in Saturday’s Chepstow feature.