What's happening at Chepstow

The Coral Welsh National Factsheet

Mon, Dec 19, 2011

• The Coral Welsh National is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeple chase run over about 3 miles and 51/2 furlongs, open to horses aged four years and older.

• First run in 1895 at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff, the Welsh National was first held at Chepstow in 1949 and was won by Dick Francis.

• Coral has been associated with the race since 1973, making it one of the largest partnerships in sport, and the race has been broadcast on the BBC for more than 40 years.

• The Welsh National has attracted some of the finest steeple chasers in the country, including Earth Summit, Bindaree, Carvill’s Hill, Burrough Hill Lad, Crudwell, West Tip and Party Politics.

• Horses that have won the Welsh National and gone on to win the Grand National in the same season are Rag Trade (1976), Corbiere (1982) and Earth Summit (1997).

• The 2010 Welsh National, run in January 2011 due to inclement weather, was won by Synchronised, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year A.P. McCoy.

• 1.1m people watched the last Welsh National on television, representing 10% of the total viewing audience.

• Chepstow Racecourse was recognised for ‘putting the Welshness back’ into the race meeting at the 2010 Racecourse Association Showcase Awards. The Daily Mail reported that, “The track’s management had given the race and day a real injection of nationalistic pride, and it worked.”

• This year’s race has attracted an initial entry of 79 horses. It will undoubtedly feature many of the country’s top horses, jockeys and trainers and will continue to be seen as the warm up for the Grand National at Aintree.

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