Chepstow hope AP McCoy returns to defends Welsh National title

Chepstow Racecourse chief Richard Holland hopes AP McCoy defends his Welsh National crown on Synchronised.

The Jonjo O'Neill trained eight-year-old beat Giles Cross by almost three lengths as McCoy completed the full set of British Grand Nationals last time.

Synchronised is one of four past Welsh winners to feature among the 79 2011 Welsh National entries for the three mile, five furlong handicap feature.

"We have a number of entries," said Chepstow executive director Holland.

"And hopefully they'll go on to declare for the race.

"There are some cracking horses including Synchronised so hopefully AP will be aboard to defend his title."

The 2011 favourite Synchronised is hoping to be the first back-to-back Welsh National winner since Bonanza Boy in 1989.

The gelding will carry 11st 6lb, the same weight he carried to victory in 2010, and is one of four O'Neill trained horses entered for Chepstow's 27 December showpiece.

McCoy, the 15-time champion jockey who won the 2010 Grand National on Don't Push It, won the Welsh at his ninth attempt.

The 2009 winner Dream Alliance, who is now in the care of John Flint, features in the Welsh National entry list alongside fellow former champions Venetia Williams' Miko de Beauchene, who won in 2007, and Barry Potts-trained 2008 winner Notre Pere.

Mark Bradstock's Hennessy champion Carruthers has been given a 11st 3lb weight for the Chepstow chase.

Paul Nicholls' Neptune Collonges, who was pulled up in the Newbury feature, heads the weights on 11st 12lb.

Of those prominent in the ante-post market Gordon Elliott's Beautiful Sound has 10st, the O'Neill-trained Galaxy Rock is on 10st 11lb, Giles Cross has 10st 1lb and Colin Tizzard's Hey Big Spender 11st 7lb.

Ian Williams' Wayward Prince, Paul Nicholls' The Minack, Nigel Twiston-Davies' Viking Blond and Donald McCain's Wymott are more big names who have been entered.

Evan Williams has entered Cappa Bleu and the Welsh trainer hopes his chance is on target for the race following his fine comeback victory at Haydock.

"He came out of the race very well and we're leaning towards running him in the Welsh National," said the Llancarfan handler.

"I can't quite believe how well he came out of that race at Haydock. He's very fresh, he's very well and we are all pretty much in agreement we'll head to Chepstow after Christmas."

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