Tom George feels conditions will be perfect for Wild West Wind in the rearranged Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday.
Rained off on December 27, the ground remains extremely testing in Monmouthshire but having already won the trial for this race, Wild West Wind has proven his suitability and the delay should play into his hands, according to the Slad-based handler.
George said: “He is in great form. The ground won’t be too soft for him as he loves heavy ground.”
He went on: “Probably the fact they have put it back 10 days might be to our advantage as it would have come plenty soon enough after the trial race he won there.
“It didn’t take much out of him, but every staying chaser is better for four weeks of rest than two weeks.
“He is a dour stayer and loves heavy ground. Everything is in his favour, it is just a question of if he is good enough.
“I don’t foresee the trip being a problem as we’ve always thought that is what he has wanted.
“He is not a quick horse, but he gallops and jumps well.”
Fergal O’Brien’s Midlands National winner Chase The Spud has had the race as his target since he hit the target at Haydock in November.
“Paddy (Brennan) schooled him on Monday and he jumped really well so we are looking forward to it,” said O’Brien.
“He has got a lot of weight, but he has earned that weight. He will love the ground and trip so there are a lot of boxes ticked.
“Michael Scudamore’s horse, Mysteree, who was second behind us at Uttoxeter, has a big pull in the weights with us, but Chase The Spud is in great form.”
Like his old rival Chase The Spud, Mysteree is another horse who will not be perturbed by the ground.
Trainer Michael Scudamore, who won the race in 2012 with Monbeg Dude, told At The Races: ” He’s such a laid-back character.
“He did his final piece of work on Tuesday morning and seems all primed for the big day.
“He does handle very heavy ground. He’ll go on most grounds.
“He certainly looks a bit stronger and is working better than ever. I hope he can keep on the upgrade.”
Kerry Lee triumphed with Mountainous the last time the race was saved until January and runs Alfie Spinner and Bishops Road.
Lee said: “Alfie Spinner is in top form and I’m really happy with him.
“In fact, I would say he has never looked better. He looks really well and is an absolute credit to National Hunt horses.
“Bishops Road was a very nice second in the Rehearsal at Newcastle and he won his biggest race at Haydock over a marathon trip, so it is fingers crossed.
“I couldn’t choose between them.”
Final Nudge represents David Dennis on the back of a fine second to Present Man at Wincanton on his only outing this season.
Dennis said: “I thought on the day it was a great performance at Wincanton as Present Man had a run under his belt.
“We’ll have improved for the run, but he definitely took a blow, in Leighton’s (Aspell) opinion, turning out of the back straight.
“I’d be disappointed if he didn’t get the trip, but it’s unknown territory.”
Milansbar runs off an 11lb lower mark compared to when he was pulled up last season and he showed a glimmer of form last time out behind Wild West Wind.
“We just thought we’d pop cheekpieces on as the last twice he’s run it’s been quite hard work for Trevor (Whelan) in the middle of the race,” said King.
“Personally, I think the extra distance this time will make the difference, but we’ll take no chances.
“I think he’s off a great mark.”
Fledgling trainer Jack Barber runs Ask The Weatherman and said: “He loves soft-heavy ground but it is over a longer distance than he’s ever ran before.
“He rain in a three-mile-four point-to-point but obviously it’s a different kettle of fish.”