Le Beau Bai pips Giles Cross to Welsh National triumph at Chepstow
Le Beau Bai (10-1) showed stamina in abundance to collar Giles Cross in the long home straight and win the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow.
Giles Cross tried to make every post a winning one under Denis O’Regan in an attempt to go one better than 12 months previously.
The pair had it between them for the final mile and Giles Cross kicked clear turning in, but O’Regan was sending out distress signals at the second-last.
Delight: Charlie Poste guides Le Beau Bai home
Charlie Poste kept urging Richard Lee’s charge along and he kept up his work to score by seven lengths.
Poste was keen not to let Giles Cross get too far in front, but O’Regan must have thought he had the race in the bag.
However, Le Beau Bai’s feather-weight proved a decisive factor in the very testing ground as he eventually ground down the long-time leader.
There was a further 15 lengths back to Cappa Bleu in third, with Bench Warrent fourth.
Neither Hennessy winner Carruthers nor 6-1 favourite Viking Blond travelled with any fluency.
Poste said: “He’s been a good servant to me. Beforehand I spoke to the owners and I picked out Giles Cross as the one I really thought was the one we had to beat.
“We rode him in similar style when he won here earlier this month. I never thought it was a foregone conclusion and he’s toughed it out really well.”
Lee said: “It”s a race I”ve always wanted to win. We didn”t run in it last year, but he was third two years ago and it all went to plan this time.
“I was worried the ground wasn”t going to be soft enough for him but Charlie got some great leaps out of him. We train on the Welsh borders to come here and win the Welsh National is fantastic. It”s a fairytale.”
Trainer Victor Dartnall said of Giles Cross: “He”s run his heart out, but he was on his own in front for a long way and I think that might have gone against him.”