Welsh Grand National 2021: Final Runners and Tips
Once Christmas Day is over the horse racing action returns over the festive period and there’s a lot to look forward to for fans. As well as the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day at Kempton, the National season also gets going with the Coral Welsh Grand National. However, the 2020 race has been postponed due to storm and it did not run on its original slot on December 27. The new date is Saturday 9th January, at its normal venue – Chepstow racecourse.
Run over a trip of 3m 6 ½ furlongs, on what is more often than not run on soft/heavy ground, so an abundance of stamina is always key.
In 2019, we saw the locally-trained Potters Corner win the race for trainer Christian Williams, but he’s unlikely to be back to defend his title which will pave the way for a new name to be added to the Welsh Grand National hall-of-fame.
The race also continues to be sponsored by leading bookmaker – Coral, who first supported the Welsh Grand National back in 1973 and is now the longest-running sponsorship in the UK jump racing.
You can expect Coral and most of the other main bookmakers to have several Welsh Grand National betting offers, so it’s always best to shop around not only to find the best Welsh Grand National prices but also to see what offers are on the table. Over these years, offers like enhanced places, odds boosts and fall insurance have been popular.
Looking at the 2021 renewal of the Welsh Grand National, it’s another very competitive race and we can expect in the region of 20 runners to tackle the gruelling 3m 6 1/2f trip.
In recent years, trainer Colin Tizzard has won two of the last four Welsh Grand Nationals, so anything he sends to post should be respected, while jockey Tom O’Brien has ridden two of the last eleven Welsh Grand National winners.
In the build-up to the 2021 Welsh Grand National, much of the focus has been on the Evan Williams-trained Secret Reprieve, who will be looking to become another locally-trained winner of the race. This 6-year-old was last seen winning the Grand National Trial at Chepstow back in early December – winning by an easy 12 lengths – and looks set to go off as the Welsh Grand National favourite. He’s currently around 5/1 in the Welsh Grand National betting, with horses like Springfield Fox, Sam Brown, Truckers Lodge and The Two Amigos next best in the market.
Final Runners and Odds*
The final 2021 Welsh Grand National runners will be announced two days before the race, so it’s always best to have a final check around this time to make sure your fancy has made the final line-up.
Here’s a list of the intended 2021 Welsh Grand National runners – but note, some of these may become non-runners in the days prior to the race date (27th Dec). To give you a rough idea, in 2019 there were 17 Welsh Grand National runners, while in 2018 there were 20 runners.
|Christmas In April||8/1*|
|The Two Amigos||10/1*|
|Ramses de Teillee||14/1*|
|Prime Venture||12/1 *|
|Lord Du Mesnil||14/1*|
|Vieux Lion Rouge||20/1*|
*Odds are valid at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Key 2021 Welsh Grand National Runners
Let’s look at some of the most anticipated runners for this year. If you want to read about past Welsh Grand National key trends
Trainer: Evan Williams
Looks the one to beat after his easy win in the Welsh National Trial at Chepstow in early December. Handled heavy ground that day too and we know the track suits. Those against him will note this is another seven furlongs in distance, while at just 6 years-old some might be put off by his age. However, unlike the Aintree Grand National, this race has produced winners that are younger – since 2004 we’ve seen 13 of the 16 winners aged 8 or younger, with two of the last four successful horses aged 6.
Trainer: Tom George
Another course winner at Chepstow, having won here at the end of January, so the track will pose no problems. Returned earlier this month with a fine second at the track too and should be a lot fitter for that outing. This race has clearly been a target for this 7-year-old for a while and his ability to handle soft/heavy ground is another big plus. Those looking to take him on may note that he’s only had three career runs over fences, so that lack of experience might be seen as a negative.
Trainer: Anthony Honeyball
Another lightly-raced chaser, but is also a very promising stayer in the making. Seems at his best on soft or heavy ground so likely to get his conditions here again and came back this season with a decent third to the very useful Imperial Aura at Carlisle. That form has also since been franked with the winner going in again. This will be the furthest he’s gone in a race though, so his ability to see out the 3m 6 1/2 f trip might have to taken on trust, but based on his recent runs it does look worth a crack.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
From the powerful Paul Nicholls yard, that has won this race twice before (2004 and 2005). He’s also a horse that’s already got a ‘National’ race to his name after landing the Midlands National at Uttoxeter back in March and was also a close second in this race 12 months ago. That Midlands National win came over 4m2f, so we know that he’s got plenty of stamina and he’ll need it in a race like this. He returned at Kelso last month and was going well in the race until unseating his jockey late on in the race. He’ll need to bounce back from that, but is generally a good jumper and has also winning form over fences at Chepstow – he seems to tick a lot of boxes.
THE TWO AMIGOS
Trainer: Nicky Martin
Last seen finishing runner-up in the Welsh National Trial race, behind Secret Reprieve, here earlier this month. A horse with plenty of stamina but is also not the biggest. Rarely runs a bad race and was also a fair 5th in this race 12 months ago, but he’s a horse that seems to finish placed more often than winning at the moment – he’s now 8 runs without a win but has finished in the top five in 6 of those mentioned 8 races.
— Ryan Dutton (@ryandutton__) April 4, 2020
Tips and Predictions for Welsh Grand National 2021
Overall, it’s all set up to be another fascinating Welsh Grand National, where all eyes will be on the Evan Williams-trained Secret Reprieve as this 6-year-old looks to become the second locally-trained winner in as many years.
After his easy win in the 2021 Welsh National Trial at Chepstow recently it’s hard to fault his chance, but he also doesn’t look much value in a race that we are likely to get around 20 runners and that is fraught with danger.
With that in mind, the Paul Nicholls runner – Truckers Lodge – looks better value at this stage. He was only beaten 1 ¾ lengths in the race last year but has since improved on that by winning the Midlands National back in March. Another likely Paul Nicholls runner – Yala Enki – is another of interest. This 10-year-old was a fair third in this contest last year but was staying on strongly at the finish to suggest he’s worth another crack at this race.
What Time Is The Welsh National?
The 2020 race was meant to be run on Sunday 27th December at Chepstow racecourse but was postponed due to storm. The time of the race is 2.50 (GMT), while the race can be watched on ITV4, plus AtTheRaces.