Vintage Clouds Aiming for Welsh National Glory

The Sue Smith trained Vintage Clouds looks to have a great chance of winning one of the big Christmas prizes at Chepstow this afternoon in the Welsh Grand National. The eight year old finished fourth in this race last season, and has shown a liking for extreme staying distances, which he tackles again here today. He comes here on the back of a good win at Haydock last time out, over a distance that was the minimum he needs now. With the step up in trip here looking sure to suit, he comes into the race as a big player.

One thing against him is that he will have to overcome a career high mark if he is to win this race, although now that he is eight, we are likely to see the very best of him this season. He won off a mark of 143 at Haydock, and had that race been over further then he would have won by a wider margin and gone up even more in the handicap. Last season we saw him running well and placing in some very good races off marks in the low 140s, so we know he is competitive at this kind of level.

As you would expect from a race of this nature, there are many other runners in with good chances, and they are led by Elegant Escape, who is likely to be sent off as favourite. He finished second in the Ladbrokes Trophy at the beginning of December, and the step up in trip here could bring out even more improvement from him. He was beaten fair and square that day, but still ran well.

However, it is Vintage Clouds that catches the eye for the north and while Sue Smith didn’t have any luck in the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby yesterday, the other big staying handicap of the festive period, she could get compensation here.