14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Tea making time for ChepstowHeadlines

Ante-post favourite Teaforthree is among 26 horses left in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow on Thursday at the confirmation stage.

Trained in Dyfed by Rebecca Curtis, the eight-year-old won the National Hunt Chase at last season's Cheltenham Festival and was an encouraging sixth to Bobs Worth in the Hennessy Gold Cup last month.

With the Paul Nicholls-trained top-weight Tidal Bay standing his ground, the bulk of the possibles are out of the handicap. They include Universal Soldier, Viking Blond, Major Malarkey, Monbeg Dude and Sona Sasta.

Nicholls also has Royal Charm, who is 5lb wrong, and Michel Le Bon, who is in the handicap proper.

Giles Cross and Cappa Bleu, second and third to Le Beau Bai 12 months ago, remain in the race, while Paul Gilligan's Jadanli is the only Irish-trained horse left in the list.

Trainer Charlie Longsdon is looking forward to saddling Universal Soldier following his fine second at Haydock a month ago to Quartz de Thaix, who is also among the acceptors.

"He'll love the heavy ground, three and a half miles will suit him and we'll put a bit of headgear on, I'd say," he told At The Races.

"He ran a blinder at Haydock. Felix (de Giles) gave him a fantastic ride. He was off the bridle for a full circuit.

"He was still very green over a fence and he will only improve. Cheekpieces might just help him a bit. I think he'll need them in the Welsh National."

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