Tea Time

Tony McCoy does not feel Teaforthree’s chance in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow is as clear-cut as the bookmakers seem to believe.

Tea Time

The sponsors have him as 3-1 favourite, and while the perennial champion jockey believes there is plenty in favour of Rebecca Curtis’ charge, he insists the extremely testing conditions mean everything is to play.

“He ran well in the Hennessy, he’s a horse that stays well having won the four-miler at Cheltenham,” said McCoy.

“It will be as testing as everybody thinks it is going to be and I’m not sure that’s in his favour – he’s not a complete mudlark – but he has got a little bit of class so hopefully he’s got a good chance.

“I thought riding him in his novice races that he was an ideal horse for the four-miler and this year his programme has been geared around this.

“It’s a very open Welsh National, when the ground is like that anything can happen, there’s a lot of horses with a good chance, the likes of Viking Blond, Monbeg Dude and Paul’s (Nicholls) horse Michel Le Bon, you could make cases for a lot of them.

“I know he’s 3-1 favourite and it’s 7-1 the next one but I don’t think there’s that big a gap between Teaforthree and the others – with the ground the way it is anything can happen.”

Welsh handler Tim Vaughan has an interesting candidate in Our Island, sixth in the race last season.

“He has a nice, handy race weight and comes here in good form having finished third in the Devon National last time,” said Vaughan.

“He had top weight over four miles that day and hopefully having a light weight on his back will help him.

“It’s a super-competitive race, but our horse will love the ground and I’m sure he’ll give us a good run for our money.

“It’s obviously a race very high on our list of races we’d like to win.”

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