History of the Coral Welsh Grand National

The race was first run in 1895, and it originally took place at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff. It remained at this venue until the closure of the course in 1939. After World War II it was transferred to Caerleon in 1948, and it was then moved to its present venue in 1949. Dick Francis, the famous jockey turned author, rode the first Chepstow winner of the race, Fighting Line. David Nicholson, later a successful racehorse trainer, rode three successive Welsh National winners in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

The Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Chepstow, Wales, over a distance of about 3 miles and 5½ furlongs (5,934 metres), and during its running there are twenty-two fences to be jumped. It is a handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year late December.

Originally run on Easter Tuesday, it was moved to February in 1969 with the aim of attracting better horses, albeit with the increased risk of bad weather forcing its cancellation. It was moved to the day after Boxing Day in 1979 and since then the class of runners has improved further, making it an informative guide to future races such as the Grand National and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Among the winners were Burrough Hill Lad in 1983, who went on to land the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup less than three months later. Trainer Jenny Pitman had the previous season saddled Corbière to win the Welsh and Aintree Nationals. In the late 80s and early 90s, the race was dominated by Somerset trainer Martin Pipe. Bonanza Boy achieved consecutive successes in 1988 and 1989, and in 1991 the giant Carvill's Hill became one of the easiest winners in the history of the race.

From 1895 – 2014 there have been 96 Welsh Grand National’s. With breaks during extreme weather and World War’s. Only one horse has managed to win three Welsh Grand National’s – Lacatoi, with wins in 1935, 1937 and 1939.

The past 10 winners of the Coral Welsh Grand National...

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2016 Native River Richard Johnson Colin Tizzard
2015 Mountainous Jamie Moore Kerry Lee
2014 Emperor's Choice Aidan Coleman Venetia Williams
2013 Mountainous Paul Moloney Richard Lee
2012 Monbeg Dude Paul Carberry Michael Scudamore
2011 Le Beau Bai Charlie Poste Richard Lee
2010 Synchronised Tony McCoy Jonjo O'Neill
2009 Dream Alliance Tom O'Brien Phillip Hobbs
2008 Notre Pere Andrew Lynch Jim Dreaper
2007 Miko de Beauchene Andrew Thornton Robert Alner
2006 Halcon Genelardais Wayne Hutchinson Alan King
2005 L'Aventure Leighton Aspell Paul Nicholls