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2019 Coral Welsh Grand National tips – 7/2 and 20/1 tips in Chepstow’s Christmas cracker

Jon Vine takes a look through the betting for this year’s Coral Welsh Grand National and highlights two horses to back at Chepstow on Friday 27th December.

All eyes may be on Kempton and Leopardstown during the festive period, but for the well over a century, some of the finest stayers in the land have been travelling to Chepstow during Christmas week to take part in the Coral Welsh Grand National.

This 29-and-a-half-furlong handicap chase has been won by Grand National and Gold Cup winners alike, with the names of Burrough Hill Lad, Master Oats and Synchronised shining on the famous trophy.

The betting for this year’s renewal is led by last season’s winner, and one of my favourite horses, Elegant Escape (7/2 Coral). On both of his starts so far this term, Colin Tizzard’s seven-year-old looked beat a long way from home, before rallying fantastically to cross the line third in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, and second in the Ladbrokes Trophy, where Elegant Escape would probably have reeled in De Rasher Counter had the finishing line been another furlong down the track.

12 months ago, Elegant Escape stayed strong down the home straight under strong pressure from Ramses De Teillee to win off a mark of 151. Tizzard’s dour stayer returns to Chepstow nine pounds higher in the weights, but he will only have four more pounds to shoulder, having carried 11-8 to victory last season, and I doubt top-weight will be enough to thwart the strong favourite.

Last year, I felt 3/1 was too short a price to take in such a gruelling race. That turned out to be a mistake. This year, I will definitely be backing Elegant Escape. Yet, there are runners behind the market leader who offer a much bigger bang for your buck and there’s one outsider I’m particularly taken with…

2019 Coral Welsh Grand National Outside Tip

Elegant Escape aside, only three horses have carried more than 11-6 to victory in the Welsh Grand National since 1992. The fact that all three – Native River, Synchronised and Master Oats – all went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup that season proves what a monumental feat that is. So, while the likes of Yala Enki (14/1 Paddy Power) and Crievehill (25/1 Coral) are capable stayers, I’ll be looking at those sitting around 11-00 or lower for both of my selections.

Big River (25/1 Betfred) may have two letters next to his name on the form-card, but Lucinda Russell’s nine-year-old is very capable on his day and will likely sneak into the Welsh National near the bottom of the weights. Another outsider to consider is Captain Chaos (25/1 Betfred), who’s record here at Chepstow is dreadful, but gets into this right at the bottom of the weights and stormed home to finish second in the Rehearsal Chase last time out.

The Two Amigos limbers up for the Grand National Trial at Haydock last season.

13 of the last 15 winners have been aged eight or less, making it wise to side with an up-and-coming chaser, preferably in the midst of their second season over fences. It’s easy to see why Now McGinty (8/1 Paddy Power) is fancied. Stuart Edmunds’ charge beat De Rasher Counter here at Chepstow in January and ran a blinder to push Santini all the way to the line on his reappearance at Sandown.

Personally, he looks more of a classy three-miler than a National type. The one who really catches my eye in the bottom half of the betting is THE TWO AMIGOS (20/1 Coral), who was last seen lugging 12-01 around Fontwell in the Southern National.

Nicky Martin was confident he had ironed out the flaws that led to a terrible reappearance over hurdles and The Two Amigos went on to run a cracking race. Jumping nicely out at the front, the top-weight was passed by two classy rivals in One Of Us and Captain Cattistock on the run to the line, but battled on bravely to cross the line a four-length third.

The Two Amigos was in excellent form this time last year, winning a 30-furlong staying handicap for novices at Exeter before beating his elders in the Sussex National on good-to-firm ground which was unlikely to suit. The Two Amigos is a proven National performer and does his best work on very soft ground. He could be a cracking each-way bet at 20/1.

2019 Welsh Grand National Tips