Wed 7 Dec 2022
Richard Hobson can’t wait to see some rain before a tilt at the Coral Welsh Grand National with the faithful Lord Du Mesnil.
The nine-year-old, who finished second in the 2020 National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, has made a name for himself when the mud flies, so it’s perhaps no surprise that three of his four wins career occurred at Haydock in the dead of winter.
It was soft ground again when he reappeared at Bangor last month, where he made a good count to finish just under five lengths adrift of Le Milos in second place.
Dan Skelton’s winner of that event went on to break through form in style by winning the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and Hobson thinks there is plenty to look forward to after Lord Du Mesnil’s encouraging return as he prepares for a appearance at Chepstow on December 27. .
“He’s fine and we wanted to run him from Bangor but we couldn’t,” the coach said.
“What we learned about this horse is that he can cross terrain that other horses cannot.
“It was only his first race of the season at Bangor and the last thing I wanted Paul (O’Brien, jockey) to do was be hard on the horse – it was an encouraging race.
“We just haven’t had the rain since to go back so we’ll sit out until the Welsh National. Personally I wanted to earn a nice handicap before then but it’s only two and a half weeks away now. , so it will happen soon.
“He hasn’t dropped too much (in the rankings) and the handicapper even gave him 1 pound (for Bangor), but if he shows up at Chepstow in the daytime and it’s raining, and it’s raining for a few days forward and it’s not that sticky old ground covered in frost, so he’d have a really good chance. He just gallops and stays.
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