Teaforthree: limbered up for the Welsh National with a trip to the beachPICTURE: Pinnacle
Tea for punters as forecast offers hope
THERE was optimism on Sunday that Chepstow would be able to stage the Coral Welsh National next weekend and Teaforthree and Michel Le Bon were subject of most punters' interest.
The Rebecca Curtis-trained favourite Teaforthree was available at 4-1 on Sunday morning, but was backed into 7-2 across the board, with race sponsor Coral, bet365 and Boylesports among firms cutting the market leader in advance of Monday's five-day confirmation stage.
Cheltenham Festival winner Teaforthree was a fair sixth in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last time and has been exercised on the beach as part of his preparation for Chepstow.
His backers will be hoping Curtis enjoys more luck than she did in Wales on Boxing Day, where three of her runners at Ffos Las finished runner-up.
"It would be wonderful if we could secure a Welsh victory in the country's biggest race," Curtis said when the media paid a visit to her Newport stable in the build-up to the big race.
Michel Le Bon will represent Paul Nicholls and the 9-1 available about him on Sunday morning with Boylesports disappeared, although that price was still available with BetVictor.
With Chepstow's course still partly waterlogged on Sunday, the fate of Saturday's meeting depends on the accuracy of a weather forecast which predicts an end to days of downpours from Tuesday onwards.
Clerk of the course Keith Ottesen told the Racing Post on Sunday: "We have had showers on and off all afternoon today and there is rain tomorrow morning, but then the forecast is dry from New Year's Day.
"If that's the case and we are dry from Tuesday through to Saturday morning then the Welsh National will be on."