Native River one of four looking for a second Welsh National

Top-weight Native River heads 30 horses confirmed for the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on Sunday.

Colin Tizzard’s 11-year-old took the prize in 2016 and the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero is one of four past winners of the Welsh National among the confirmations.

The others are stablemate Elegant Escape (2018), Christian Williams’ Potters Corner (2019) and Secret Reprieve last winter.

Potters Corner ran his best race for some time when only beaten a nose by Diesel D’Allier in a cross-country chase at Cheltenham earlier this month.

Williams hopes there is plenty of rain before the race and has the Unibet Veterans’ Handicap Chase Final at Sandown on January 8 as a back-up.

“He seems well and it’s all systems go. He looked back on track at Cheltenham,” said the Glamorgan handler.

“We think he’s well-handicapped now and we’re pleased with him. He’s coming to the boil now. We’re just waiting for some soft ground.

“We’ve got the veterans’ final at Sandown as well so we’ve got two options.”

Truckers Lodge, runner-up in 2019, is one of two possibles for Paul Nicholls along with Highland Hunter.

Others in the mix include Lucinda Russell’s Mighty Thunder, winner of last season’s Scottish Grand National, Tom Lacey’s Kimberlite Candy, Venetia Williams’ pair of Achille and Hold That Taught and the Sam Thomas-trained Iwilldoit, winner of the Welsh National Trial at Chepstow.

David Pipe has left in five – Ramses De Teillee, Via Dolorosa, Abaya Du Mathan, D’Jango and El Paso Wood – and there are two Irish representatives – Peter Fahey’s The Big Dog and the Jessica Harrington-trained Discordantly.

In the Grade One Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle Harry Fry’s unbeaten Forever Blessed, Jane Williams’ Saint Segal and Phil Kirby’s Skycutter are among 16 entries.

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