A horse that likes boggy ground, stays longer than the mother-in-law, races prominently and has course form at Chepstow is largely what is required to win the Welsh National and this gives Alfie Spinner strong each-way claims at an enticing 16/1.
It is hard to fault the credentials of the favourite Teaforthree, who also fits many of these desirables, but the value has gone at 5/1.
Meanwhile, Teaforthree put up a bold showing in the Hennessy Gold Cup at the start of December, finishing a solid sixth behind the superior Bobs Worth.
Alfie Spinner was in the same race, but fell early on before anything really unfolded.
The good news from this is that the fall was nothing heavy and it prevented him from enduring a really taxing contest, especially in contrast to Teaforthree.
This is significant because the Welsh National is the ultimate in hard graft, where stamina on soft ground over 3m5f will be vital and any lingering fatigue from past excursions could prove the difference.
Alfie Spinner has plenty of other things in his favour, notably a 6lb pull in the weights for his defeat to Teaforthree in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the last Cheltenham Festival.
He clearly can cope with the additional demands of Chepstow, being a course winner and never finishing out of the first two at the course.
Four of the last ten Welsh National winners have been Alfie Spinner’s age of seven and he enjoys being up with the pace.
His third in the Reynoldstown, where he separated Bobs Worth and Silviniaco Conti, is a top piece of form, with the only doubt being his win percentage.
The consistent problem is that he tends to get caught for pace entering the home straight, only to stay on in the final furlong without being able to peg back the leader.
This potentially damages his chances of victory, but it is virtually impossible to rule him out of the first four.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date