Gloucestershire trainers have Coral Welsh Grand National glory in their sights at Chepstow today (2.35pm).
David Bridgwater, Tom George, Jonjo O'Neill and Nigel Twiston-Davies all have runners in the showpiece race over three miles and five furlongs, won last year by Monbeg Dude, owned by Gloucester Rugby stars James Simpson-Daniel and Mike Tindall and former Kingsholm team-mate Nicky Robinson.
Bridgwater will make the trip from his stable in Stow-on-the-Wold with the mudlark Wyck Hill, who is expected to relish the heavy going and could go well at big odds under Tom O’Brien.
Slad trainer George has booked Gold Cup-winning jockey Paddy Brennan to ride his challenger Chartreux, who won in testing ground at Wincanton nearly a year ago but has been well beaten in his past two races.
O’Neill will head to Chepstow from his Jackdaws Castle stable in Temple Guiting looking to win the Welsh National for the third time, after wins with Mini Sensation in 2002 and future Gold Cup hero Synchronised in 2010.
His runner today is young chaser Merry King, who finished fifth in the Hennessy Gold Cup last time, should also enjoy the testing conditions and will be ridden by Richie McLernon.
Twiston-Davies has also won the Welsh National twice, with Aintree Grand National heroes Earth Summit (1997) and Bindaree (2003).
The Guiting Power trainer will have two runners in the race today, Tour Des Champs and Red Rocco.
Tour Des Champs, who will be ridden by Twiston-Davies’ son Sam, finished fourth in this year’s Scottish National and was doing his best work at the finish when finishing sixth at Cheltenham last month.
Adam Wedge will take the reins aboard Red Rocco, who has gained all three of his wins in testing conditions.