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Sunday 26 January 2020

Robbie Power: 'Back Escape to repeat victory'

Dour stayer may be top weight but there are not too many negatives as distance will suit

REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Elegant Escape won the Welsh National last year
REPEAT PERFORMANCE: Elegant Escape won the Welsh National last year

I had a look back at the records for the Welsh National and you've to go a long way back to the 1980s to find a horse to win back-to-back renewals but I can't wait to try it on ELEGANT ESCAPE (2.50 Chepstow).

I wasn't on board last year but he's a horse I know well and I wouldn't swap him in this year's renewal.

Top weight is never easy in any of these big handicaps but Elegant Escape wasn't far off carrying top weight to win the race last year so I don't see that being a negative.

Elegant Escape ran a fine race in the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy at Newbury last time out, when he was fitted with blinkers for the first time and they've been left on again today.

Colin Tizzard just decided to put them on to sharpen his mind a little bit and they didn't seem to do him any harm.

Encouraging

Both of his runs this season have been encouraging and I think a race like the Welsh National is made for Elegant Escape.

He ticks a lot of boxes for a repeat success here today and I'm really looking forward to riding him.

Three miles six furlongs on testing ground is exactly what he wants and he is a real dour stayer so I can't find too many negatives.

I'm thrilled to be able to ride CERBERUS (1.35 Chepstow) again today. He has changed owner since I won on him at Fairyhouse and now carries the colours of JP McManus.

Cerberus gave me a real good feel when he won at Fairyhouse and it was good thinking from Joseph to seek out this opportunity.

Allmankind would look to be the horse we have to beat, having won both starts for Dan Skelton, but I think he'll make the running and that will be a help to my horse.

I made all on Cerberus the last day so if I have to do that again, so be it, but I do think he could be better with something to aim at.

The ground will be a bit more testing today than it was at Fairyhouse, but I don't think heavier ground will be an issue and, hopefully, we'll have too many gears today.

What looks to be a good book of rides today begins in the opening race with HARRY SENIOR (12.30 Chepstow).

You would be hoping to win a lot of maidens with a horse rated 133 and fingers crossed Harry Senior can get the job done today.

Plenty

This horse has run well in three novice hurdles this season so has plenty of experience and the form of his latest run has worked out well.

At Exeter last time out, Harry Senior was beaten by Sporting John and he has won again since, while the third-placed runner that day has also come out and won, so I'd be hoping Harry Senior can break his maiden at this time of asking.

Having won a Grade One on CHACUN POUR SOI (1.10 Leopardstown) at Punchestown last season, I'll be watching him with interest from Chepstow.

If Chacun Pour Soi does what I think he will do today, I'd say he'll be a short-price favourite for the Champion Chase.

I loved him last season and he is a horse with huge potential.

If I was back in Leopardstown, I'd have had a couple of rides for Jessica Harrington.

Although it looks a very hot beginners' chase, SIZING POTTSIE (12.35 Leopardstown) might run a big race.

He's still a maiden over hurdles and now goes over fences, but his schooling has been excellent and he is a horse we've always thought a lot of.

In the Paddy Power Chase, you could almost stick a pin in the paper as it's a wide-open affair, but WHISPERINTHEBREEZE (2.55 Leopardstown) is still entitled to have bold each-way claims.

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