EVERYTHING looks in place for CHASE THE SPUD to go close in what is guaranteed to be a stamina-sapping Coral Welsh Grand National.

Fergal O'Brien's gelding has a proven record in the marathon staying handicap department, having ground out victory in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter in March – showing the sort of traits that are sure to serve him well at Chepstow.

After a well-earned long summer off, Chase The Spud made his seasonal reappearance a month ago at Haydock over three and a half furlongs on heavy ground.

He had to display more courage and determination to beat Robinsfirth by six lengths, with 24 lengths back to third home Cloudy Too.

Inevitably, Chase The Spud has gone up in the ratings again, but he has the right attributes to cope with a big weight and when conditions demand it. Paddy Brennan has today's ride.

MERCENAIRE can give trainer Nick Williams a third success in the Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle.

The Devon handler saddled Me Voici to take this Grade One in 2009 and Le Rocher struck in 2013.

He has found another suitable contender in Mercenaire, who was impressive when making most of the running to score by 25 lengths at Exeter last month. Lizzie Kelly takes the reins of today's nap selection.

POLITOLOGUE completed his transition to leading two-miler when outpointing Fox Norton in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown and can follow up that success in the Unibet Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

Trainer Paul Nicholls is happy for John Hales' grey to take in this Grade Two contest and it looks a golden opportunity, judged on his latest effort. Sam Twiston-Davies is booked in the saddle.

SHANTOU ROCK can bounce back from defeat on his latest start to land the 32Red.com Wayward Lad Novices' Chase.

The five-year-old, from the all-conquering Skelton stable, suffered a surprise reverse at odds-on when beaten by Ozzie The Oscar in a four-horse affair at Warwick.

He is given another chance as he had won nicely at Newton Abbot in October and his form is as good as any in this field.

MIDNIGHT TUNE can take the 32Red Casino Mares' Handicap Hurdle for Anthony Honeyball after a confidence-boosting first win over jumps at Wincanton earlier in the month.

At Wetherby, DUKE OF NAVAN is fancied to make amends for an early exit at Newbury last time out with a clear round in the 188Bet Castleford Handicap Chase.

The Nicky Richards-trained nine-year-old had made an encouraging reappearance when a close third to Baby King at Aintree.

PURE SHORES was acquired for 30,000 guineas from Charlie Appleby's Godolphin stable in the summer and struck at the second time of asking for trainer Ian Williams at Wolverhampton.

The daughter of Dubawi could prove to be a shrewd purchase, especially if she wins the 32Red.com EBF Fillies' Handicap back at the Colwick Park track.