Welsh Grand National Tips and Free Bets
Read on for the best odds, offers and betting tips on offer for the 2018 Welsh Grand National, the big race at Chepstow – a fine feast of excitement as you’re still devouring the leftover turkey!
The class in this race doesn’t compete with the King George on Boxing Day but even so, this is a thrilling race.
Welsh Grand National Tips and Betting Offers, 2:50, 27th December 2019
The Welsh Grand National is the biggest National Hunt race of the year in Wales. This punishing 3 mile 6½ furlong contest always attracts a large number of entries and carries a healthy prize fund of £150,000. This year’s contest is as wide open as ever and presents plenty of betting opportunity.
Elegant Escape May Find it Too Tough to Defend
Two of the last three renewals of the Welsh Grand National have gone the way of the bookies’ favourite. Elegant Escape delighted favourite backers 12 months ago and is bidding to repeat the trick on Friday.
There is a lot to like about Colin Tizzard’s seven-year-old. He showed tremendous stamina to win on the same soft ground that will greet the field this year at Chepstow and arrives on the back of a couple of impressive performances to his name this season. His most recent performance saw him storm home in the Ladbrokes Trophy to claim third, but it was not missed by the handicapper.
Elegant Escape will have the carry top weight in his Welsh Grand National defence which may just open the door to his nearest rivals. One horse who has every chance of getting the favourite beaten is Yala Enki. The experienced nine-year-old failed to get the better of Elegant Escape when they met at recently at Newbury or in last year’s Welsh Grand National but he is 8lb better off to the favourite than last year and can take full advantage at 15/2 with bet365.
This will be just Yala Enki’s second performance for the Paul Nicholls team. He arrived from Venetia Williams’ yard after having wind surgery and connections are hopeful that combination will ensure many more big runs. Yala Enki certainly has the combination of grit and class required to win this prestigious prize.
The Two Amigos the One for Each Way Money
The Welsh Grand National has provided five winners priced at 10/1 or bigger in the last 10 years. This is race where each way betting can return handsomely and the one to support this year looks to be The Two Amigos at 14/1 with Coral.
Nicky Martin’s seven-year-old should relish the soft ground at Chepstow and has plenty of proven form over this sort of long trip. After making his first appearance of the season over hurdles he showed some good form over the larger obstacles last time out at Fontwell, finishing strongly. The return to a genuine staying trip should bring the best out of a horse who still has room for improvement.
This isn’t the strongest renewal of the Welsh Grand National. You can pick holes in all of those at the top of the market but the chances of Yala Enki have to be respected at 15/2 with bet365. He should be a major player in this sort of handicap for a couple of years to come and can set his stall out for new connections.
Those looking for a longer odds option to take on the favourites should consider the 14/1 that Coral are quoting on Nicky Martin’s leading charge, The Two Amigos.
- 2018 – Elegant Escape – jockey Tom O’Brien, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2017 – (run in Jan 2018 due to postponement) Raz De Maree – jockey James Bowen, trainer Gavin Cromwell
- 2016 – Native River – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Colin Tizzard
- 2015 (run in Jan 2016 due to postponement) – Mountainous – jockey Jamie Moore, trainer Kerry Lee
- 2014 – Emperor’s Choice – jockey Aiden Coleman, trainer Venetia Williams
- 2013 – Mountainous – jockey Paul Moloney, trainer Richard Lee
- 2012 – Monbeg Dude – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Michael Scudamore
- 2011 – Le Beau Bai – jockey Charlie Poste, trainer Richard Lee
- 2010 – Synchronised – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jonjo O’Neill
- 2009 – Dream Alliance – jockey Tom O’Brien, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2008 – Notre Pere – jockey Andrew Lynch, trainer Jim Dreaper
- 2007 – Miko de Beauchene – jockey Andrew Thornton, trainer Robert Alner
- 2006 – Halcon Genelardais – jockey Wayne Hutchinson, trainer Alan King
- 2005 – L’Aventure – jockey Leighton Aspell, trainer Paul Nicholls
The Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase for horse aged four years and above. It is run at Chepstow race course each year and has been since 1949 when the course was switched from Caerleon. Prior to Caerleon, the race had been held at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff since its inauguration in 1895. The race was suspended during the years of 1939 and 1948 due to the War. In total there are 22 fences for the competitors to overcome across its three miles and five and a half furlong distance.
The date of the race has been progressively moved earlier on in the racing calendar in an attempt to attract better horses, despite the threat of increasingly worse weather. It was moved back from Easter Tuesday, to February in 1969 and then to its current date in 1979.
The class of runners did subsequently improve, making it an informative contest for how future events, such as the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup, were to play out. The most recent example of horses winning this one and then continuing on to win one of these two others are Bindaree, Silver Birch and Synchronised. Bindaree, winner here in 2003, and Silver Birch, winner in this one in the following year, went on to win the Aintree Grand National also. Synchronised, victorious here in 2010, went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2012.
Over the past decade there have been few horses, jockeys or trainers alike to seriously stamp their authority on this race, largely due to the open nature of the Welsh National. The only reoccurring name on the previous winners list in the past 10 years is trainer Richard Lee. Lee managed victory in 2011 and 2013, but even then this was with different horses and different jockeys.
This trend perhaps shows the difficulty of this particular race and the unpredictability of it, which of course makes the Welsh National almost as tough a betting proposition as its English equivalent. That said, we did see the dominance of two trainers in the 1980s and early 1990s. Jenny Pitman and Martin Pipe trained eight of the 12 winning horses between the years 1982 and 1993.
Over this period however, the trend of lots of different winning horses continued. The only horse to actually earn repeat victories in this timewas Martin Pipe’s Bonanza Boy in 1988 and 1989. These two victories made this Pipe trained horse the first ever horse to win this race in consecutive years and he remains the only one to have done so still to this day.
Jockey Peter Scudamore enjoyed much success in the late 1980s amassing a total of three wins in five years, two in the saddle of Bonanza Boy, making him one of the most successful jockeys in the history of the Welsh National.
The arrival of the Welsh National means that the year is almost at a close. That means that the Cheltenham Festival is just months away. Now then, THAT means you really should check out our Cheltenham Festival offers post!