Welsh National on Lord Du Mesnil’s agenda

Wed 7 Dec 2022

Richard Hobson is eager to see some rain ahead of a tilt at the Coral Welsh Grand National with stable stalwart Lord Du Mesnil.

The nine-year-old, who was second in the 2020 edition of the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, has made a name for himself when the mud flies so perhaps it is no surprise that three of his four career victories have come at Haydock in the depths of winter.

It was soft ground again when he reappeared at Bangor last month, when he gave a good account to finish just under five lengths adrift of Le Milos in second.

Dan Skelton’s winner of that event has gone on to frank the form in style by winning the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and Hobson believes there is plenty to look forward to following Lord Du Mesnil’s encouraging return as he builds towards an appearance at Chepstow on December 27.

“He’s well and we’ve wanted to run him since Bangor but haven’t been able to,” said the trainer.

“What we’ve learnt about this horse is he can go through ground that other horses can’t.

“It was only his first run back of the season at Bangor and the last thing I wanted Paul (O’Brien, jockey) to do was to be hard on the horse – it was an encouraging run.

“We just haven’t had the rain since to go again so we will sit tight until the Welsh National. I personally wanted to win a nice handicap before then but it’s only two and a half weeks away now, so it’ll soon come round.

“He hasn’t come down too much (in the ratings) and the handicapper even put him back up a 1lb (for Bangor), but if he turns up at Chepstow on the day and it rains, and it’s rained a couple of days before and it’s not that tacky old frost covered ground then he would have a real good chance. He just gallops and stays.”

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