THE Welsh Grand National at Chepstow this afternoon is a typically wide open affair and none of those lining up can be safely ruled out.

The going should be soft, rather than bottomless, which ought to suit the favourite Elegant Escape, who has the potential to become top class.

It may also help David Pipe’s triple course winner Ramses De Teillee to stay the extra three quarters of a mile that he is tackling for the first time today. They should have too many guns for Raz De Maree, whose victory in the 2017 running earned James Bowen the accolade of At The Races Jump Ride of the Year at the Lesters awards ceremony last week.

The big race is off at 2.50.

The Finale Juvenile Hurdle at 1.35 is always a high class affair and Nicky Henderson’s French import Adjali will be odds on to emulate stablemate We Have A Dream, who won the last running. Adjali won easily at Market Rasen earlier this month, but Paul Nicholls’ course winner Quel Destin should give him plenty to do.

Arverne, purchased by J P McManus following a debut success at Auteuil, would be a very interesting challenger if sent over by his French trainer Adrien Lacombe.

David Probert was in Qatar last weekend to ride Tip Two Win, on whom he was second in the 2,000 Guineas. The horse was running in the Qatar Derby, on the Doha track where he won twice last winter. He was fourth at Royal Ascot before disappointing at Glorious Goodwood. This time he was making his first attempt at a mile and a quarter, but he appeared not to stay and finished sixth of the 12 starters.

Probert, on the 99-winner mark for the year, was continuing his quest for a century with seven rides at Wolverhampton yesterday and five more at the same venue today.

David Evans was also desperate for a Christmas winner, as his stable had had only one out of their last 124 runners. That solitary success was the three-year-old filly Bond Angel, and she came up trumps again at Southwell on Friday. Evans has stayed loyal to the successful jockey, apprentice Katharine Begley, for whom it was a first winner for over a year.

At Wolverhampton that day the yard’s Gracious John ran a fair race to finish third in a Class 2 handicap. If their horses are coming back to form they will at least be well handicapped.

Grace Harris also ended a quiet spell when the stable’s recent acquisition Field Exhibition scored at Uttoxeter on Friday. Her new owner recouped a fair part of the £5,000 he paid for her at Ludlow, where she finished second in a claimer over two miles. Heavy going and a half-mile longer race suited the mare, although the form of her easy nine-length win could be devalued by the very steady pace they went.