welsh grand national

Welsh National 2019

The 2019 renewal of the Coral Welsh Grand National will take place on Friday December 27 at Chepstow Racecourse and the showpiece race is expected to bring in a sell-out crowd at the South Wales track over the festive period.

The Grade 3 chase is raced over 3 miles and 5 ½ furlongs with 22 fences to be negotiated and has a total prize fund of £150,000, with £85,425 of that going to the winner.

In 2018, Colin Tizzard won his second Welsh National in three years with Elegant Escape (3/1) under Tom O’Brien, holding off the late charge from Ramses De Teillee to win by 1 ½ lengths.

The racecourse was built in 1926 and over 20,000 people attended the inaugural race meeting at Chepstow, while the National itself was first run in 1895 at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff.

It was then moved to its present venue in 1949, when the race was won by Fighting Line under Dick Francis, who rode Devon Loch to near-glory in the 1956 Aintree Grand National for the Queen Mother.

Welsh Grand National Tips

Chepstow has a stiff five-furlong finish with 11 fences on the oval course, including several on the final straight which often puts a premium on jumping under pressure.

The final run-in of 250 yards can also catch horses and riders out, especially over the Welsh Grand National distance when many jockeys will kick for home around the final bend.

Conditions can be very testing and with five fences in the straight, the first part of which is downhill, front runners can benefit from pinpoint jumping accuracy. 2016 Welsh National winner Native River won off the front for Champion Jockey Richard Johnson before going on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2018.

The other things to consider seriously are the undulations with the final test a downhill run from the last. You can often see tired horses make a mistake at the final fence as a result of the test Chepstow represents.

Despite the big field in the race, favourites often do well with four of the last five winners coming from the top three in the market, while 10 of the last 12 winners were aged between six and eight.

Weight should also be taken into consideration, with every winner between 2011 and 2015 carrying less than 11 stone.

Every Welsh National runner will be profiled at The Winners Enclosure and you can view them all in our exclusive race guides before the showpiece Chepstow meeting.

Our tips and selections are all thoroughly researched and backed up by our wealth of tipster with years of experience. They can be found throughout the website and on our main horse racing tips page updated daily.

Dress Code at the Welsh National

Chepstow Racecourse has a relaxed dress code in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure and fancy dress is welcomed, as long as it is appropriate.

In the Premier Enclosure & Hospitality area, they do operate a smart-casual dress code. That means smart shoes only (formal dress shoes), while trainers, canvas shoes, sandals or flip-flops are all not permitted alongside sportswear including football or rugby shirts.

In the Grandstand & Paddock enclosure, the dress code is more casual. Relaxed footwear such as smart trainers and canvas shoes are also allowed within this enclosure.

Betting on the Welsh Grand National

The betting markets for the 2019 Coral Welsh Grand National will come out in early December, but you can get a good idea of the likely market leaders with various prep races taking place in the months before.

One of the key trials for the Welsh National is the Ladbrokes Trophy (formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup), with several horses completing the double including the aforementioned Native River in 2016.

As the Welsh National has become a classier race in recent years, better horses have run in the race including Elegant Escape, who finished second in the Ladbrokes Trophy before winning the blue-riband event at Chepstow.

Various bookmakers will be offering free bets and extra places on the Welsh National with the big field, so it is worth checking out our page for any special offers.

Instead of using the ante-post markets, it could be worth waiting until the evening before the race to take full advantage of the each-way markets, with as many as seven places likely to be offered in what is one of the most competitive betting heats of the year.

Welsh Grand National Winners of the past

David Nicholson – the former trainer and jockey whose name had been put to the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham – partnered three consecutive Welsh Grand National winners in 1959, 1960 and 1961 with Limonali twice and Clover Bud.

Somerset trainer Martin Pipe enjoyed success in the race with five victories at Chepstow over a six-year period, with Bonanza Boy winning the race in 1988 and 1989 while the former Champion Trainer also won the feature in 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Dream Alliance was a very popular local winner of the race in 2009, with the owners – a Welsh syndicate paying just £10 a week – having bred the horse themselves. The story itself was turned into a film, named after the horse who also came second in the 2007 Hennessy Gold Cup behind the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Denman.

The race has seen several impressive winners in recent years with 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River taking the 2016 renewal while Welsh trainer Kerry Lee took the race back in 2015 with Mountainous.

Other notable winners include Bindaree in 2003 and Silver Birch in 2004 for Paul Nicholls. The latter would go on to be sold and trained in Ireland by Gordon Elliott, winning the Aintree Grand National in 2007.

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