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Welsh Saint

Welsh Saint was impressive in winning the Pertemps Qualifier. He travelled well through his race for Jerry McGrath, and he moved up nicely in behind the leader Sykes at the top of the home straight. Portrush Ted fell at the second last flight when he was still in contention, but Welsh Saint was travelling well at the time, and he stayed on well to get the better of the tough Silva Eclipse.

Welsh Saint had never been over three miles before, but he stayed the distance well – and there was always a chance that he would progress for it – having travelled like the most likely winner from a fair way out. The handicapper raised him by 4lb to a mark of 138, which should be just about ideal to get him into the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham. He handles soft ground well, and it may be that he will be at his best on soft ground, but he won his bumper on good ground at Warwick last March. And we know that he handles Cheltenham, he ran well there to finish third behind Protektorat and Imperial Alcazar in a listed novices’ hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day that became high-profile afterwards. This was just his fifth run over hurdles, he could progress for it, and he could be a player in the Pertemps Final or in the big three-mile handicap hurdle at Aintree.

Haydock, 15th February 2020