sport

Lee dream of a wet Christmas

Richard Lee is dreaming of a wet Christmas to help Le Beau Bai in his quest to defend his crown in the Coral Welsh National.

The nine-year-old is a confirmed mudlover as he showed when galloping relentlessly to a seven-length success in the Chepstow marathon last December.

This long-distance handicap chase is again the target and Le Beau Bai's preparation is attracting plenty of media interest.

"The television cameras filmed him this morning. The BBC were up there in force," said the Presteigne trainer.

"It's so far so good, all we need is for it to rain at Christmas.

"We do need that ground again. If it's not very soft there's not much point in running him.

"We don't want a white Christmas, we want a wet Christmas. That's what we need."

Viking Blond was pulled up in this race 12 months but connections of the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained seven-year-old are expecting a much better show this year.

"He's absolutely buzzing and Nigel is actually training him quite well. He's getting him mad fresh and has had this race in mind for a long time," jockey Sam Twiston-Davies told At The Races.

"It seems to suit him round there. He's won at Chepstow, he loves heavy ground, the trip will be ideal and we know how to ride him now - just get him out in front, just go as steady as we can and try to keep up a gallop he can maintain."