By Billy Blakeman ValueChecker
AP Completes Full Sweep of Nationals on Synchronised
1 Synchronised 5/1
The Jonjo O’Neil trained Synchronised helped AP McCoy complete a grand slam of National victories in the re-scheduled, Coral-sponsored, Welsh National at Chepstow on Saturday 8th January. AP now joins Ruby Walsh as the only current rider to have lifted the Nationals of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
The sponsors now make Synchronised the 14-1 favourite for the John Smith's Grand National itself with Sky Bet 20-1 but AP warned; "He took a long time to learn how to jump normal fences and he doesn't jump out at me as a typical National horse. He might take to it, he might not. This was the ideal race for him, three miles five furlongs round here on soft ground. I don't know if he has the scope for the Grand National fences, but he did jump better today than he has ever done."
In third was the selection of the author, I'moncloudnine, whose trainer Neil Mulholland said: "He ran a cracker as the ground was maybe a bit testing today. I'd love to get him to Aintree if I could."
HAYDOCK NEXT FOR 'FRESH' MAKTU
Maktu is set to bid for redemption in the Peter Marsh Chase following his defeat as favourite in the Coral Welsh National.
Pat Murphy's nine-year-old was sent off the 9-2 market leader for the Chepstow marathon but after racing keenly early on, he faded out of the finish to be fifth.
Murphy is now eyeing a swift return for his lightly-raced inmate, and Haydock on January 22 is on the agenda.
"He's come out of Saturday's race in good form and although I've still to speak to the owners, I think we will enter him for the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock," said Murphy.
"He was just a bit too fresh and well. That was the problem with having just one run before as he missed a race at Chepstow on December 4 and I really needed it for him.
"In the short term, we will look at the Peter Marsh for him and then probably enter him for the totesport.com National Trial at Haydock next month (February 19)."
Despite Maktu featuring among the leading stayers this term, Murphy has no plans to head to Aintree this year, although a crack at the John Smith's Grand National is on the cards for 2012.
He added: "The long-term plan would be to go back for the Welsh National again in December, but Aintree isn't on the agenda until 2012, not 2011."
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