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Grey on National trail

Chicago Grey heads a trio of Irish entries for the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on December 27.

Gordon Elliott's grey could be joined by Margaret O'Sullivan's Indifference Curve and the Tony Martin-trained Lochan Lacha, but both are currently out of the handicap proper.

Hennessy Gold Cup winner Carruthers has his sights are now set on this marathon contest, and with Neptune Collonges withdrawn as expected, the weights are headed by Colin Tizzard's Hey Big Spender, who lifted the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on his latest start.

Last year's winner Synchronised is among the possibles although Jonjo O'Neill's charge also holds an entry in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown a day later. O'Neill has another string to his bow in Galaxy Rock.

Most of those prominent in the ante-post betting have had their entry confirmed, with the exception of Alan King's Becher Chase winner West End Rocker, who has a repeat win in Warwick's Classic Chase as his likely target.

King could still be represented by Blazing Bailey while other possibles include Cappa Bleu, As de Fer, Neptune Equester, Giles Cross and Le Beau Bai.

Bradstock said of Carruthers: "I'd like to see plenty of rain on Sunday and Monday to make sure it's not too gluey and then we are there. He's in great form, and he schooled great. Fingers crossed it's another big day."

Hey Big Spender is set to attempt to defy the steadier of 11st 12lb.

"He's come out of Newcastle really well. He's got a lot of weight, but all his winning has been with top weight on," the trainer's son and jockey Joe Tizzard.

"He's a big strong horse, he's 17 hands, he's a well-built horse, and it's a race we've had in mind for him for three or four years. We always thought he would be a Welsh National horse one day, so we go there and he'll have a good chance."

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