Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Welsh National: Ben makes case for Dance

Ben Case believes Dance Island will be ‘well up to the task' when he contests Saturday's rearranged Coral Welsh National.

The eight-year-old chased home Burton Port in the Mildmay Novices' Chase at Aintree in the spring and arrives for the big race less battle-scarred than many of his rivals.

After a spin over hurdles, he finished second to the improving King Fontaine at Haydock and his trainer believes he ticks most of the boxes.

“I don't know how strong a case he has, but he ran well on his first run back over fences when he just got a little bit tired up at Haydock,” said Case.

“He likes the ground at Chepstow, he's won over hurdles round there and he's off a nice racing weight and is still improving.

“His form over fences is very good, his second to Burton Port at Aintree is very good form. That was his best run over fences.

“Haydock was his first run in a handicap and he stayed over three miles when he won at Warwick.

“He hasn't run over fences that much but he's a relaxed horse and has plenty of experience of horses. I think mentally and physically he's well up to the task.

“Charlie Poste will stay on him, there's no reason to take him off,” added the trainer.

Following the upbeat bulletin bookies trimmed him into 10-1 from 12s. Tony McCoy’s mount Synchronised is 5-1 favourite.

Chepstow's forecast appears to be reasonably favourable, although clerk of the course Keith Ottesen remains vigilant. “We are soft, good to soft in places,” he said.

“There's not a massive amount of moisture in there but we had a little rain. There was some snow on the track but it has now gone.

“There is likely to be a frost on Wednesday and Thursday night and warming up on Friday day with some rain.

“It should remain warm through Saturday afternoon. We wouldn't mind some rain and I would take that forecast, but you can take nothing for granted.”