The latest gallops report comes from Gloucestershire where Nigel Twiston-Davies has been working the likes of Viking Blond and Major Malarkey.
By Gallops Reporter. Last Updated: 02/01/13 4:43pm
Major Malarkey: In good form but not expected to line up in Wales
VIKING BLOND looked right at the top of his game as he completed his preparation for the Coral Welsh National with two workouts up the steep Fibresand all-weather at Nigel Twiston-Davies's Cotswold base.
Two recent outings for the eight-year-old have been specifically designed to bring the gelding to the boil for the race his trainer delights in winning.
Viking Blond has for long been regarded as the type of horse that could follow in the hoofprints of top stayers such as Earth Summit and Bindaree and pick up a prestigious long-distance staying chase.
The testing conditions should play to his strengths, while the fact he was unable to get a dominating or semi-dominating early position accounts for his poor run in the race last year.
MAJOR MALARKEY stayed on from an unpromising position to finish a close second at Sandown last month and has been given time to get over those exertions in order to reduce the possibility of him bouncing.
He looked well in himself doing a half-speed spin up the strip and while he is entered in the Welsh National, Twiston-Davies had indicated he may bypass the race.
FRONTIER SPIRIT won as he liked at Ffos Las the other day and is reported to have taken those exertions in his stride.
He looked well and in good heart as he engaged in a swinging canter up the steep strip.
The gelding looked most unlucky to be mugged on the run-in of his previous outing at Fakenham and will be re-assessed before competing in another handicap chase off his revised mark.
WINGED CRUSADER has shown promise in his preparatory work and is one to consider for a bumper in the near future.
He has an engagement later in the week and shows every indication that he will handle cut.
MAHOGANY BLAZE has a two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Chepstow in his sights and was another to catch the eye
The former smart two-miler could also engage in veterans' chases this winter.