The Coral-sponsored Welsh Grand National is always the first of the big national races each jumps season and we can look forward to another ultra-competitive renewal on Thursday 27th December.
Staged at Chepstow racecourse, and run over three miles five and a half furlongs, it’s the Welsh tracks biggest race day of the year, plus being a regular fixture over the festive period the race has become an annual tradition for many recreational punters to have a crack at.
Last year we saw the thirteen-year-old, Raz De Maree, turn back the clock to land the lucrative pot, while two years ago the subsequent Gold Cup winner – Native River – took the honours.
There are several key pointers and tips to take into the race that we’ve listed below, but also note that eight of the last sixteen winners had won over fences at Chepstow in the past so course experience is a big asset, while six of the last sixteen successful horses had run in the race previously.
You can get more help finding the winner of the Welsh Grand National on our ITV Tips page
Plus, to help pin-point the best winning profile of the 2018 Welsh Grand National we are on-hand with some key trends and statistics.
We hope they help you find the winner, but if you fancy a horse that we’ve not featured below then simply apply these stats to that runner.
Welsh Grand National Trends
- 16 of the last 16 winners had won between one and five times (fences)
- 16 of the last 16 had raced in the last seven weeks
- 14 of the last 16 aged nine or younger
- 14 of the last 16 winners finished in the top 4 last time out
- 13 of the last 16 winners carried 11st or less in weight
- 12 of the last 16 winners were aged eight or younger
- 10 of the last 16 winners returned 10/1 or shorter in the betting
Trends – Key Runners
Elegant Escape ✅✅✅✅❌✅✅
Ramses de Teillee ✅✅✅✅❌✅✅
Folsom Blue ✅✅❌✅❌❌✅
Baie des Iles ✅✅✅❌❌✅✅
Vintage Clouds ✅✅✅✅❌✅❌
Looksnowtlikebrian satisfies all the main trends and is a huge price.
Trends – Analysis
The Colin Tizzard camp landed this prize in 2016 and they look to have a great chance of adding to that with Elegant Escape. Their 2016 winner – Native River – was a six-year-old too so his age is not a concern, while since 2005 we’ve actually had three winners aged six. He was last seen running a cracker at Newbury (second) in the Ladbrokes Gold Trophy and from nine runs over fences is yet to finish out of the first three (three wins). This will be the furthest he’s gone but he runs as if he’ll stay and has also won at the track before, albeit over hurdles. The trends give him a big shout too with six of our seven on his side – only falling down on his weight (11st 8lbs) but he’s a classy sort that certainly looks capable of carrying that sort of burden. A leading player.
The Pipe stable have won this race five times in the past but the last of those did come back in 1993 when Martin was at the helm. Son, David, will be hoping to add to those successes his father had in the race with Ramses De Teillee and getting a thumbs-up on six of our seven trends then it’s easy to see why he’s been popular in the betting. He’s another six-year-old that looks an improving chaser and heads here off the back of a nice win at this track earlier this month. A four-pound rise for that looks fair, while the longer trip certainly looks within range. The only main stat he falls down on is his weight (11st 1lb) but that’s only by a single pound so can easily be overlooked. Looks another with a great shout.
The powerful Gordon Elliott team send over Fosom Blue from their Irish base and despite having won the English and Irish Nationals, this is so far one race that’s eluded the yard. Top amateur rider, Jamie Codd, has been booked to ride and the form of his recent fourth at Haydock (hurdles) has since been boosted with the winner landing last Saturday’s Long Walk Hurdle. He was also fourth in last season’s Irish National so is no stranger to these gruelling staying tests and should be spot-on after that recent spin over hurdles. However, the trends give him a mixed chance with three potential negatives that surround around his age (eleven) and weight (11st 2lbs). His supporters will ague that we did see an older horse win the race last year, so it is possible – however, since 1994 (twenty-two runnings) we’ve only had two winners aged in double figures.
Baie Des Iles is another that’s been popular in the build-up to the race. This seven-year-old grey was twelfth in the Aintree Grand National back in April and also fifth in this race in 2016. Don’t forget, horses that have raced in the contest previously have a fair record. He’s a staying chaser with time on his side so should have more to come and can be expected to be much sharper for a recent run over in France. The trends see him only just fall down on the main weight stat by a pound but having not been placed in the top four last time out might also been seen as a negative. He’s a horse with potential so certainly can’t be ruled out, but his form does lacks consistency.
The Sue Smith camp, that landed the 2013 Aintree Grand National, will be looking to add the Scottish version to that tally with Vintage Clouds. This eight-year-old returned to the track last month with a gutsy win at Haydock and off just a three-pound higher mark looks another with a decent chance. He was third in the Scottish National over four miles last season too, so the trip is no issue and has finished in the top three in ten of his fourteen starts over fences. With 11st 3lbs in weight he has this trend to overcome but gets a thumbs-up for most of the others. He was sent off favourite for the race twelve months ago (fourth) so he’s another past participant of this contest that tries again. He is, however, rated six pounds higher this time, so some may feel he’s got a bit to prove. Overall, a consistent sort that is a proven performer in this race so certainly enters calculations.
Of those at a slightly bigger price the Tim Vaughan-trained Looksnowtlikebrian catches the eye, with six of our seven trends in his favour. This improving seven-year-old has returned this season better than ever to win his last two starts, with the last of those an easy ten length success at Carlisle. His jumping at times can be a bit sketchy but has run well at the track in the past, including having won over hurdles here. Yes, he’s up nine pounds for that last win but in this better race only has 10st 9lbs to carry. Bearing in mind he won with 11st 11lbs last time then his feather weight will be a big plus, especially as seven of the last eight winners carried 10st 10lbs or less. The longer trip is a slight unknown, but he’s been staying on well in his races so there is every reason to think it will suit. If his jumping holds up, then he looks an interesting contender.
Every Chepstow race covered live on ITV can be found on our Chepstow Racing Tips page, with runner by runner previews for each contest.