Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Carruthers Planning Welsh Raid

Hennessy Gold Cup winner Carruthers remains on target to take his place in Tuesday's Welsh National at Chepstow.

The eight-year-old was bred and is part-owned by former television racing presenter Lord Oaksey and trained by his son-in-law Mark Bradstock.

He bounced back to form to take Newbury's big prize in superb style and will now take his chance over the trip of three miles and five furlongs.

Synchronised will be bidding for back-to-back wins in the race.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained eight-year-old is bidding to become the first horse to win the race twice in the same year after last season's race was not run until 8 January.

However, the horse also holds an entry in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on Wednesday and it is not yet clear which race O'Neill will opt for.

Bonanza Boy was the last horse to win the race twice, in 1988 and 1989.

Bradstock said of Carruthers: "I'd like to see plenty of rain on Sunday and Monday to make sure it's not too gluey and then we are there.

"He's in great form, and he schooled great on Tuesday. Fingers crossed it's another big day."

With Neptune Collonges withdrawn, the weights are headed by Hey Big Spender.

The Colin Tizzard-trained eight-year-old, who won the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on his latest start, will carry 11st 11lb,

"He's come out of Newcastle really well. He's got a lot of weight, but all his winning has been with top weight on," said the trainer's son and jockey Joe Tizzard.

"He's a big strong horse, he's 17 hands. He's a well-built horse, and it's a race we've had in mind for him for three or four years.

"We always thought he would be a Welsh National horse one day, so we go there and he'll have a good chance."

Most of those prominent in the ante-post betting have had their entry confirmed, with the exception of Alan King's Becher Chase winner West End Rocker, who has a repeat win in Warwick's Classic Chase as his likely target.

King could still be represented by Blazing Bailey, while other possibles include last year's runner-up Giles Cross, the well-fancied Viking Blond from the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard, Chicago Grey, Cappa Bleu, As de Fer, Neptune Equester and Le Beau Bai.

2010 race (run in Jan 2011):Synchronised (AP McCoy) 5-1
2009: Dream Alliance (Tom O'Brien) 20-1
2008: Notre Pere (Andrew Lynch) 16-1
2007: Miko de Beauchene(Andrew Thornton) 13-2
2006: Halcon Genelardais(Wayne Hutchinson) 7-1
2005: L'Aventure (Leighton Aspell) 14-1