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Bai can rule at Chepstow

LE Beau Bai, a heavy ground specialist, can win today's Welsh National at Chepstow in what are expected to be gruelling conditions, WRITES MARCUS ARMYTAGE.

The eight-year-old, which carries 10st 1lb, was third in the race two years ago when 12lb higher up the Handicap and is well weighted on a day when life will be tough for horses carrying over 11st.

"I'm at Ffos Las today and it's bottomless and hopefully it will be like that tomorrow," said trainer Richard Lee yesterday, who also runs Heathcliff in the race. "Le Beau Bai likes Chepstow and deserves to win a big one, but I'd be pushed to split him and the other one, to be honest."

Carruthers, the immensely popular Hennessy winner, takes his chance despite fears about the ground. He was put up 6lb for that three-and-a-quarter-length win over Planet of Sound, but this is a lesser race.

Meanwhile, Peddlers Cross, looking to further his Irish Independent Arkle claims in the Williamhill.com Novice Chase, and Finian's Rainbow, runner-up to Captain Chris in the Arkle but winner of the Maghull Novice Chase at Aintree, both run at Kempton today.

Peddlers Cross has looked very good in a couple of bloodless novice chase wins at Bangor. Nicky Henderson's Sprinter Sacre is potentially smart and should give Don McCain's horse a run for his money.

Henderson had hoped to get Finian's Rainbow out earlier in the season for the Tingle Creek but had a hold-up and this exciting chaser makes his reappearance today. Wishfull Thinking looks his biggest danger.

Irish Independent