Welsh Grand National – A Historical Overview
Tomorrow marks the 2018 edition of the Coral Welsh Grand National. Undoubtedly the gem in the Welsh racing crown, Cheptsow racecourse plays host to the fascinating chase steeped in racing history.
The inaugural race took place in 1895 at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff where it remained until the course closed in 1939. It was then moved to Chepstow in 1949 and has never moved since. Originally run on Easter Tuesday, it was moved to February in 1969 with the aim of attracting better horses. The meeting is now held the day after Boxing Day and since then the class of runners has improved further.
The race’s continued improvement in class makes it an informative guide to both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and those stepping up to the most famous prize in jump racing, the Grand National.
More recent winners of both the Welsh and the Aintree Grand National are Bindaree and Silver Birch. Furthermore the 2010 and 2016 winners, Synchronised and Native River, went on to win the 2012 and 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup respectively.
Last year the race was thrust further into the eye’s of the sporting public as 16 year-old jockey James Bowen won on board 13 year-old Raz De Maree. Not only was it the first time an apprentice jockey had ever won the race, but also the first time a 13 year-old horse had won the race too.
With the race set to go off at 2:50pm, be sure to tune into ITV in order to get your post lunch fill of top quality racing!