Big guns taken out of Chepstow feature

Neptune Collonges, Mr Pointment and Mon Mome all feature among the 18 horses removed from the Coral Welsh National at the first forfeit stage.

Neptune Collonges, Mr Pointment and Mon Mome all feature among the 18 horses removed from the Coral Welsh National at the first forfeit stage.

The first two mentioned are trained by Paul Nicholls, who has also taken out Le Duc and Turthen.

Nicholls still has Gungadu, Cornish Sett, Geeveem and The Luder engaged in the valuable marathon.

Meanwhile, despite taking last year’s runner-up Mon Mome and Pass Me By out, Venetia Williams could still be represented by Fair Question and Flintoff.

Dessie Hughes has removed Hennessy faller Strong Flow, as well as Dublin Hunter, Forest Leaves and Ballyfinney, while compatriot Tom Taaffe’s Merdeka has also been taken out.

Daniel O’Sullivan has left in the promising Benefit Night, third to Royal County Star in the Troytown Chase on his reappearance.

But that one is also unlikely to make the trek across the Irish Sea with the 190,000 Paddy Power Handicap on December 27 making lots of appeal as an alternative.

The County Cork handler said: “He won’t go there – he’ll go for the Paddy Power at Leopardstown.

“Last time the ground was just a bit quick for him and he might have just needed the run, so hopefully he’ll improve off it.

“It was a very good run in a competitive race though and he’ll go straight to the Paddy Power now.”

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