Rebecca Curtis arrives mob-handed as she attempts to win back-to-back West Wales Nationals at Ffos Llas, where she has four out of the seven runners represented.
Bob Ford returns on a 13lb higher mark than when he was successful here last year, and has to give weight all-round. He did shape well enough in the Welsh Grand National last month before falling with a few fences to jump and is sure to be a player over a course and trip that suits.
Bob Fords’ stable companions also have a lively chance with Red Devil Lads set to make the running. However his jumping is unreliable and having pulled up at Warwick a week after his disappointing effort in the Welsh National, it’s hard to be confident he will pick up the victory.
Minella On Line is possibly the yard’s most interesting runner, racing off what looks like a handy mark of 125. He returned to chasing action over 2m 7f in December when going down by 20l to Local Show, who has since added another victory to his CV. That margin of defeat may not tell the whole story as he pecked on landing at the last when trying to mount a challenge, albeit I don’t think he would’ve made it in to the first two and ultimately finished a tired third. There are also slight reservations about whether he will see out this test with some proven stayers in the mix.
Cogry’s performance at Chepstow was too bad to be true. In fact, even his trainer was baffled by it and has reassuringly said that he is in “really good form”. He never travelled and was off the bridle and ridden after a mile before eventually being pulled up. He remains on a mark of 137 which is 5lbs lighter than current favourite Bob Ford, and Jamie Bargary takes off a further 5lbs which should aid his cause.
Cogry raced off level-weights with Bob Ford in the Welsh so is effectively 7lbs better off and is preferred at the prices. His staying-on performance at Cheltenham the time before last remains fresh in the memory and with the quality of opposition distinctly below the level of his last few outings, this should be a much easier task if he can bounce back.
The 3/1 on offer isn’t a spectacular price but he went off favourite for the Welsh at around 6’s and with so many horses also disappointing that day in horrendous conditions, he can be forgiven that performance. The ground and trip should be no issue and with a decent gallop expected to be set by the Curtis entrants his hold up style should suit with stamina coming to the fore in the closing stages.
1pt win Cogry @3/1, 15:15 Ffos Llas (Betvictor)
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