Welsh Grand National Tips

Check back here in December for our full preview and free betting tips ahead of the 2018 Welsh Grand National at Chepstow.

2018 Welsh Grand National Preview

I’ve long thought the Welsh Grand National would be ideal for MS PARFOIS. Despite finishing 40 lengths behind Sizing Tennessee, I wasn’t too disappointed with her run in the Ladbrokes Trophy. The going description may have read soft, but Anthony Honeyball’s mare needs it much more testing than that and she travelled well before running out of steam down the home straight.

The handicapper’s decision not to up her rating at all during the spring means she travels to Chepstow on a workable mark. Wins around Cheltenham and Newbury makes you think the testing track here at Newbury will hold no fears for Ms Parois and stats for horses running on their second start after a wind operation add another positive to her name.

Welsh Grand National

First run in 1895, the Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt race that’s run at Chepstow Racecourse every year, typically just after Christmas Day. It’s run over three miles and five and a half furlongs and is for horses aged four years and above.

The race was first run at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff, but was forced to find a new home after the closure of this course in 1939. It moved to Caerleon, close to Newport, in 1948, and to its present home of Chepstow one year later.

It has taken place every year since, aside from 1969, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1995 and 1996 when cancelled due to poor weather conditions. It was also delayed until January because of course condition in 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2017.

Chepstow Racecourse

Chepstow is one of the most well-known racecourses in the UK, and is the leading racecourse in Wales. It opened in 1926, although racing close to the course had been organised from as early as 1892. The course fell into financial difficulties almost immediately but survived, then survived being taken over by the RAF during the Second World War.

Chepstow returned to normal service as a racecourse in 1949, and was immediately handed the running of the Welsh Grand National.

Greatest Welsh Grand National Winners

1. Burrough Hill Lad

Undoubtedly the greatest ever winner of the Welsh Grand National and the second entrant trained by the legendary trainer Jenny Pitman, Burrough Hill Lad claimed Chepstow glory in the winter of 1983, as he justified favouritism with a dominant display.

Burrough Hill Lad then travelled to Cheltenham as the horse to beat in the Gold Cup. Regular jockey, John Francombe elected to ride market rival, Brown Chamberlain, which proved to be a terrible decidision, as Phil Tuck guided Burrough Hill Lad to a tremendous success in Cheltenham’s showpiece event.

Many horses found winning difficult after claiming Gold Cup glory, but not Burrough Hill Lad. Pitman’s stable star won the Charlie Hall Chase on his reappearance the following season. He then scored in the Hennessy Gold Cup carrying 12-00 on his back, before rounding off a monumental year with a sparkling victory in the 1984 King George at Kempton.

Next Racing Festivals

Only two horses have managed to win the Welsh Grand National on more than one occasion – that being Limonali in 1959 and 1961, and the Martin Pipe-trained Bonanza Boy in 1988 and 1989. Rag Trade won the race in 1976, the same year it won the Grand National run at Aintree.Peter Scudamore is the most successful jockey at the Welsh Grand National, winning on Run and Skip in 1985, the afore-mentioned Bonanza Boy in 1988 and 1989, and Carvill’s Hill in 1991.