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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Emery could make it 'home win'Headlines
Tanerko Emery (right)

Tanerko Emery could bid to emulate 2011 victor Oscar Whisky and win the William Hill Welsh Champion Hurdle for Dai Walters at Ffos Las on Saturday.

This year's race is being staged over half a mile further and as a Limited handicap compared to how it has been run since being resurrected by Walters at the new venue.

Last year's contest was lost to the weather, denying Oscar Whisky a repeat, but compensation is in the offing as David Pipe's Tanerko Emery is progressing at a rate of knots and would be a popular winner for the course's owner.

Pipe wrote on his blog: "One of the big races of the weekend (weather permitting of course) will be the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las. The race, formerly held at Chepstow, slipped into obscurity before Dai Walters rescued it, secured a much needed cash injection and held it at his new track.

"We have entered Dai's improving seven-year-old Tanerko Emery in the race. Tanerko has won three of his four starts over hurdles since joining the Pond House team."

Nicky Henderson's Lanzarote Hurdle winner Oscara Dara and Alan King's Balder Succes are among the 23-strong entry, suggesting the decision to change it to a handicap is a popular one among connections.

Also on the card is the William Hill West Wales National which has attracted the 2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs. Cappa Bleu, fourth at Aintree last year, could aim to keep the prize in Wales for Evan Williams, while Pipe has entered Ashkazar, Junior, Master Overseer, Sona Sasta and Shaking Hands.

Cannington Brook, Carruthers, Alfie Spinner and Summery Justice are also among the 24 entries.

Ffos Las general manager Tim Long said: "We were hopeful of very competitive entries for both our feature races on Saturday and the excellent prize-money has certainly attracted some quality racehorses. I'm anticipating a very exciting day's racing."

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