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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Silver By Nature tops Welsh National weights

Venue: Chepstow Racecourse Date: Monday, 27 December First race: 1225 GMT
Coverage: Exclusively live on BBC TWO & online, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Wales

Silver By Nature
Silver By Nature was beaten into second in 2010 by Dream Alliance

Silver By Nature now tops the Welsh National weights after 13 horses were taken out of the Chepstow showpiece.

Burton Port had been among the Welsh favourites for the three-mile-five-furlong marathon on 27 December.

But trainer Nicky Henderson has removed his six-year-old while 2005 runner-up Neptune Collonges and Madison Du Berlais have also been scratched.

So Lucinda Russell's Silver By Nature, runner-up last year to Dream Alliance, takes over at the top of the handicap.

The eight-year-old grey was only beaten three-quarters of a length into second place by Dream Alliance last December - and the 2009 winner remains in the field.

Jim Dreaper's 2008 champion Notre Pere and ante-post favourite Synchronised, who leads the betting at 8-1, have survived the Chepstow cut alongside Galant Nuit and Watamu Bay.

Silver By Nature was sidelined after winning the Blue Square Gold Cup at Haydock in February and needed his comeback race when well beaten in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last month.

"He was quite tired after Newbury," said Scottish trainer Russell.

"It took quite a bit out of him and it was probably the travelling as well.

"We felt he might need his first race and it certainly was the case.

"He's come out of it fine. We've given him an easy week and he's now back in full training again."

Silver By Nature is a 16-1 chance with the sponsors for the Welsh National while last year's winner Dream Alliance is a 12-1 shot as the Welsh horse aims to become the first since Bonanza Boy in 1989 to successfully defend his title.

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see also
Welsh winner boasts Grand dream
29 Dec 09 |  Horse Racing
Dream Alliance wins Welsh honours
28 Dec 09 |  Horse Racing
Notre Pere jumps to Chepstow win
27 Dec 08 |  Horse Racing
Miko wins Welsh National thriller
27 Dec 07 |  Horse Racing
Halcon claims Welsh National win
27 Dec 06 |  Horse Racing
L'Aventure takes Welsh honours
27 Dec 05 |  Horse Racing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
BBC racing coverage
09 Apr 11 |  Horse Racing

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