Coral Welsh National – A Taste of What’s to Come
In 1895 the very first Coral Welsh National, also known as the Welsh Grand National, was raced at the Ely Racecourse. All the races were held here until 1939, when the Ely Racecourse was shut down. But a new venue was found for the 1940 Coral Welsh National, at the Chepstow Racecourse. It has remained here ever since, and has been the scene of many surprising and nail biting finishes. The Welsh Grand National is known to be a difficult and extremely challenging track, sometimes causing both the horses and their jockeys to overcome heart-stopping situations.
Every December, Chepstow Racecourse, Piercefield Park, comes alive for one of the most anticipated events in the entire jump-racing season. It bustles with punters, owners, jockeys, trainers and horses that come to the Coral Welsh National to test their strength, endurance and stamina. In the jump-racing industry, punters look to the Welsh Grand National as a good race to study in regard to predicting future performances at racing meetings such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Aintree Grand National.
The Coral Welsh Grand National is a handicap chase that is run over a distance of three mile five and as supporting races for the main race; the Grade Two Championship Bumper and the Grade One Finale Junior Hurdle is also held during this time. What makes the race significant for punters is the fact that most of the winners and good performers of the Welsh National almost always go on to be great future winners. Some of the winners of this grueling racing event have included Mini Sensation, Jocks Cross, Silver Birch, Supreme Glory and Bindaree. Over the years there have been a few horses to stand out from the crowd and will always be synonymous with this event, such as Rag Trade. Rag Trade won the Coral Welsh National in 1976 and in 1982, after Corbeire won, the Aintree Grand National was no challenge for this amazing horse. Other names such as Master Oats and Cool Ground have also won their place in the history of this race, as did the phenomenal Earth Summit, who did not only win the Welsh Grand National, but the English and the Scottish Grand Nationals as well.
This December will be no different to the others. Once again, thousands of spectators will fill the grounds of the Chepstow Racecourse, and another winner will inscribe his or her name in annals of Welsh Grand National history.