Welsh National

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Welsh National
Grade 3 race
Location Chepstow Racecourse
Chepstow, Wales
Inaugurated 1895
Race type Chase
Sponsor Coral
Website Chepstow
Race information
Distance 3m 5½f (5,934 metres)
Surface Turf
Track Left-handed
Qualification Four-years-old and up
Weight Handicap
Purse £100,000 (2013)
1st: £56,950

The Welsh National is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Chepstow, Wales, over a distance of about 3 miles and 5½ furlongs (5,934 metres), and during its running there are twenty-two fences to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year late December.

The race was first run in 1895, and it originally took place at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff. It remained at this venue until the closure of the course in 1939. After World War II it was transferred to Caerleon in 1948, and it was then moved to its present venue in 1949. Dick Francis, the famous jockey turned author, rode the first Chepstow winner of the race, Fighting Line. David Nicholson, later a successful racehorse trainer, rode three successive Welsh National winners in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

Originally run on Easter Tuesday, it was moved to February in 1969 with the aim of attracting better horses, albeit with the increased risk of bad weather forcing its cancellation. It was moved to the day after Boxing Day in 1979 and since then the class of runners has improved further, making it an informative guide to future races such as the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Among the winners were Burrough Hill Lad in 1983, who went on to land the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup less than three months later. Trainer Jenny Pitman had the previous season saddled Corbière to win the Welsh and Aintree Nationals. In the late 80s and early 90s, the race was dominated by Somerset trainer Martin Pipe. Bonanza Boy achieved consecutive successes in 1988 and 1989, and in 1991 the giant Carvill's Hill became one of the easiest winners in the history of the race.[1][2]

More recent winners of both the Welsh and the Aintree Grand National are Bindaree and Silver Birch. The 2010 winner, Synchronised, went on to win the 2012 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Winners since 1976[edit]

  • Weights given in stones and pounds; Amateur jockeys indicated by "Mr".
Year
Winner
Age
Weight
Jockey
Trainer
1976 Rag Trade 10 11-02 John Burke Fred Rimell
1977 no race 1977–78
1979 Peter Scot 8 10-02 Paul Barton David Gandolfo
1980 Narvik 7 10-11 John Francome Neville Crump
1981 Peaty Sandy 7 10-03 Mr Geordie Dun Helen Hamilton
1982 Corbiere 7 10-10 Ben de Haan Jenny Pitman
1983 Burrough Hill Lad 7 10-09 John Francome Jenny Pitman
1984 Righthand Man 7 11-05 Graham Bradley Monica Dickinson
1985 Run and Skip 7 10-08 Peter Scudamore John Spearing
1986 Stearsby 7 11-05 Graham Bradley Jenny Pitman
1987 Playschool 10 10-11 Paul Nicholls David Barons
1988 Bonanza Boy 7 10-01 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe
1989 Bonanza Boy 8 11-11 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe
1990 Cool Ground 8 10-00 Luke Harvey Reg Akehurst
1991 Carvill's Hill 9 11-12 Peter Scudamore Martin Pipe
1992 Run for Free 8 10-09 Mark Perrett Martin Pipe
1993 Riverside Boy 10 10-00 Richard Dunwoody Martin Pipe
1994 Master Oats [1] 8 11-06 Norman Williamson Kim Bailey
1995 no race 1995–96
1997 Earth Summit 9 10-13 Tom Jenks Nigel Twiston-Davies
1998 Kendal Cavalier 8 10-00 Barry Fenton Nigel Hawke
1999 Edmond 7 10-00 Richard Johnson Henry Daly
2000 Jocks Cross 9 10-04 Brian Crowley Venetia Williams
2001 Supreme Glory 8 10-00 Leighton Aspell Pat Murphy
2002 Mini Sensation 9 10-04 Tony Dobbin Jonjo O'Neill
2003 Bindaree 9 10-09 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies
2004 Silver Birch 7 10-05 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls
2005 L'Aventure 6 10-04 Leighton Aspell Paul Nicholls
2006 Halcon Genelardais 6 11-03 Wayne Hutchinson Alan King
2007 Miko de Beauchene 7 10-05 Andrew Thornton Robert Alner
2008 Notre Pere 7 11-00 Andrew Lynch Jim Dreaper
2009 Dream Alliance 8 10-08 Tom O'Brien Philip Hobbs
2010 Synchronised [2] 8 11-06 Tony McCoy Jonjo O'Neill
2011 Le Beau Bai[3] 8 10-01 Charlie Poste Richard Lee
2012[4] Monbeg Dude 8 10-01 Paul Carberry Michael Scudamore
2013 Mountainous 8 10-00 Paul Moloney Richard Lee

1 The 1994 running took place at Newbury.
2 The "2010" running took place in January 2011 after the original fixture was postponed due to snow and frost.
4 The "2012" running was run in January 2013 after the original fixture was postponed due to waterlogging.

References[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Brian. 2002. The Welsh Grand National. ISBN 0-7524-2728-8
  2. ^ Chepstow racecourse website
  3. ^ "Le Beau Bai lands Welsh National victory at Chepstow". BBC Sport. 27 December 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 

See also[edit]