PROSPECTS for the Welsh Grand National meeting at Chepstow, rescheduled for this Saturday, are looking good.

The forecast indicates that there won’t be too much rain between now and then and Keith Ottesen, the clerk of the course, said on Monday: “As long as it isn't anywhere near what we had last week you would have to be very hopeful.”

Let’s hope the weather forecasters have got it right this time. They failed to foresee the quantity of rain that lashed the track in the two days before the race was originally due to take place.

Although this is the fourth time the race has been postponed since 2010, on every other occasion it was run successfully soon afterwards.

Twenty-five stood their ground at the Welsh National’s five-day stage, including all the principals, and it should be just as good a race as if it had taken place on its original date.

Among the lower weighted possibles are the Evan Williams pair Firebird Flyer, who is now below the handicap mark from which he finished second two years ago, and On The Road, who hasn’t been out of the first two in his last 10 outings; the only problem with him is that two and a half miles seems to be his trip.

One of the favourites is Beware The Bear, trained by Nicky Henderson. He doesn’t have too many runners at Chepstow these days – a lot of his horses aren’t the type to cope with the soft going normally encountered there in the winter.

However, he has added the best three-year-old hurdler seen so far this season, Apple's Shakira, to the entries for the Grade 1 Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle.

Some promising types were already set to run in what could be a very good race indeed.

All tickets for the 27 December meeting were automatically transferred to the new fixture. However, those who would prefer to receive a refund can obtain one by emailing the course at or by calling them on 01291 622 260 before 4pm tomorrow.

There was another Chepstow meeting planned for Sunday 7th, but that has been called off.

Though the course is currently raceable, that wasn’t the case at Ffos Las, whose meeting yesterday was abandoned due to waterlogging.

Bargoed jockey David Probert completed 2017 with a winner at Doha, in Qatar, last Friday when riding Tip Two Win for Lambourn trainer Roger Teal. He’d partnered the two-year-old to a runaway victory on its 20/1 debut at Windsor in July. It was no fluke, for the horse performed well in higher grades since for other jockeys. The journey to Qatar was an inspired move as he won by four and a half lengths and the jockey will be hoping to keep the ride when the horse is set to run in good races nearer home in the new turf season. Probert himself was down to earth with a bang on Sunday, riding at Lingfield. 2017 was his second best year in terms of the number of winners, with 94 in the UK earning just over £1 million in prize money.

Grace Harris has her string in good heart but without the luck, with four second places from her last six runners, which include the dependable veteran Paddy The Oscar. He celebrated his 15th birthday on New Year’s Day.