Synchronised and McCoy land Welsh National
Report: Chepstow, Saturday
Coral Welsh National (Grade 3 handicap) 3m5½f, 5yo+
TONY MCCOY completed a memorable month as he guided the JP McManus-owned Synchronised to an epic weight-carrying performance in the Coral Welsh National on Saturday.
The BBC Sports Personality of the Year rode a stalking race on the 5-1 second-favourite, collaring long-time leader Giles Cross between the last two fences.
Followers of Pricewise were once again in clover with the victory, as Tom Segal advised the winner at a tasty 14-1 ante-post.
The victory was a first in the race for McCoy, and completed his Grand National set after winning at Aintree aboard the same owner's Don’t Push It last year.
Coral make Synchronised their new 14-1 favourite for the National in April, although McCoy later hinted that he would remain faithful to stablemate Don’t Push It, 16-1 with the same firm, if the two ran at Aintree.
Synchronised, who had been favourite for the race since it was postponed on December 27, lost that position in the moments before the race as late supportmade Maktu the 9-2 favourite.
Following the win, McCoy said: “The race went well. I sat him a bit closer to the pace to get him into a rhythm and they didn’t go much of a gallop.
“I’m glad I rode him handy as he warms to his jumping. This was the ideal race for him with these conditions and fences.”
Tony McCoy: first Welsh NationalPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpostpix.com)
While McCoy and Synchronised will earn all the plaudits, runner-up Giles Cross, partnered by young Harry Skelton, deserves great credit.
He jumped impeccably in the lead after setting a sensible pace in the stamina-sapping ground. Skelton said: "It was a good run today and he jumped very well. He looks like he stays all day and could be an Aintree horse."
I’moncloudnine, another to race up with the pace, plugged on for third with the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ballyfitz back in fourth.
Neil Mulholland, trainer of third-placed I'moncloudnine, said: "I'm delighted with that - he's run a cracker. May be the ground was a bit tacky for him, but there areno excuses."
Regarding a National tilt for the winner, McCoy added: “Obviously, people will ask about the Grand National, but I don’t know if he’s got the scope for that. It’s an option if he did take to it.
“It would be impossible to get off a Grand National winner [Don’t Push It] and I'll always be indebted to him.”
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