The WELSH GRAND NATIONAL is the big highlight over the festive period and a race we love and go to every year. There is a prerequisite to winning this race. Over this 3m5½f distance with 20 runners jumping 22 fences on heavy tacky ground the winner will need to be heavily laden with stamina and the racing trends support this view! The long range weather forecast suggests no extreme conditions between now and the time of the race but history tells us to look for soft to heavy ground horses.
The race has a habit of throwing up some real stars of the British jumping scene, most recently the 2016 winner Native River and since then jockey James Bowen, whose career has gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months who is now forging a great relationship with trainer Nicky Henderson.
We have our eyes on an obvious candidate but first we need to look at our racecourse templates and then our racing trends.
CHEPSTOW RACECOURSE TEMPLATE
FAVOURITES NON-HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) HANDICAP RACES (5 YEARS) Hurdle: 58-123 for 47% (+2.81) 34-124 for 27% (-16.51) Chase: 11-27 for 41% (-6.04) 47-144 for 33% (+4.26) NHF: 15-45 for 33% (-8.13) 0-0 for - Total: 84-195 for 43% (-11.35) 81-268 for 30% (-12.25) TOP TRAINERS at Chepstow for current season Paul Nicholls: 7 wins from 19 for 37% (+15.50) Philip Hobbs: 4 wins from 28 for 14% (+6.33) Colin Tizzard: 3 wins from 18 for 17% (+11.50) Dan Skelton: 3 wins from 18 for 17% (+18.00) Evan Williams: 3 wins from 22 for 14% (+50.00) TOP JOCKEYS at Chepstow for current season Harry Cobden: 7 wins from 23 for 30% (+24.00) Richard Johnson: 6 wins from 24 for 25% (+19.50) Adam Wedge: 3 wins from 20 for 15% (+52.00) Bryony Frost: 2 wins from 6 for 33% (+1.25) Bridget Andrews: 2 wins from 8 for 25% (+16.00)
On the trends issue we note 14 of the last 16 winners have been aged 9yo or younger and 13 of the last 16 have carried less than 11st 0lbs but preferably less than 10st 8lbs.
Weather permitting this year's race is set to be run on Thursday 27th December 2018 and this race will be shown live on ITV4.
2017 Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
15/15: Won between 1-5 chase races before (100%)
15/15: Raced within the last 7 weeks (100%)
15/15: Won over at least 3m before over fences (100%)
14/15: Aged 9yo or younger (93%)
13/15: Placed in the top 4 last time out (87%)
12/15: Carried 11st 0lbs or less (80%)
12/15: Aged 8yo or younger (80%)
11/15: Carried 10st 8lbs or less (73%)
10/15: Won just 2 or 3 times before over fences (67%)
10/15: Returned 10/1 or shorter (67%)
..9/15: Irish bred (60%)
..8/15: Won over fences at Chepstow before (53%)
..6/15: Unplaced favourites (40%)
..6/15: Won last time out (40%)
..5/15: French bred (33%)
..5/15: Ran in the Welsh National before (33%)
..4/15: Ran at Chepstow last time out (27%)
..2/15: Trained by Jonjo O’Neill (13%)
..2/15: Trained by Paul Nicholls (13%)
..2/15: Winning favourites (13%)
The average winning SP in the last 15 years is 10/1
2017: RAZ DE MAREE (16/1)
2016: NATIVE RIVER (11/4f)
2015: MOUNTAINOUS (9/1)
2014: EMPEROR’S CHOICE (9/1)
2013: MOUNTAINOUS (20/1)
2012: MONBEG DUDE (10/1)
2011: LE BEAU BAI (10/1)
2010: SYNCHRONISED (5/1)
2009: DREAM ALLIANCE (20/1)
2008: NOTRE PERE (16/1)
2007: MIKO de BEAUCHENE(13/2)
2006: HALCON GENELARDAIS (7/1)
2005: L’AVENTURE (14/1)
2004: SILVER BIRCH (10/3f)
2003: BINDAREE (10/1)
2002: MINI SENSATION (8/1)
RAMSES DE TEILLEE LOOKS THE PART
Ramses De Teillee is the current 8/1 favourite for the Coral Welsh Grand National. Trainer David Pipe has high hopes for the 6yo as he bids to follow up his father Martin in winning Chepstow Racecourse's showpiece event. After having a wind operation he was fifth in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton on his reappearance after being heavily backed into 2/1 favourite, he duly justified market confidence.
LOVES THE COURSE
He travelled with zest throughout and took the race by the scruff off the neck with a superb leap at the third-last. A dual winner over course and distance last season on heavy ground, he clearly excels in these conditions and has now won three times and finished second in just four appearances at this venue. His last handicap chase win had come off a mark 22lb lower, so this 6yo is clearly improving at a rapid rate and should not be taken lightly and is clearly the one to beat.
BOOKMAKERS TAKING NO CHANCES
Bookmakers are taking no chances and make him the 8/1 favourite and that price looks a bit short of value or at least perceived value. That said he meets the requirements of our racing trends and will almost certainly be our nomination on the day. Had we been offered 10/1 or 12/1 we would have backed the Pipe runner ante-post.
David Pipe does well at Chepstow and his all-time figures show 48 winners from 275 winners for 17% and a small level-stake loss of -11.65pts.
As well as 7 thrilling jump races on the card, including the biggest race in Wales, the day will be packed with Welsh themed entertainment for the entire family including singing from Chepstow Musical Youth Theatre, The Bridgend Male Voice Choir, a performance from jazz band The Hipcats in our more relaxed Wye Valley marquee, roaming Welsh lady stilt walkers and more, you may even get to see a dragon!
What's more, there is a great Tom Jones tribute after racing in the lively Bonanza Boy marquee so you can let the traffic die down after racing finishes while enjoying all the classics. The Welsh National Anthem will be sung by international opera stars Wynne Evans and Rebecca Evans ahead of the big race.
CHEPSTOW are still offering discounts for advance bookings.
Telephone: 01291 622 260 and Fax: 01291 627 061
Address: Chepstow Racecourse, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, NP16 BE
There is a shuttle bus running from both Chepstow (£1 each way) and Newport (£5 return) train stations, Gates open at 10am for this meeting.
PARKING IS FREE
We look forward to seeing you there. We will post our selections for the day for all the races along with general betting advice on Wednesday 26th December 2018 before 6pm.
Today's Pacafi: click here
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