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58 Entered For Coral Welsh Grand National 2022


22 November 2022

Cheltenham Gold Cup hope Royale Pagaille heads the 58 entries for the Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on Tuesday 27 December.  

The star of Venetia Williams’ stable was fifth in this year’s Gold Cup, only inches away from finishing third.  He stays well, goes on the likely soft ground and sets a high standard. He may make his seasonal debut in next week’s Coral Gold Cup at Newbury.

Paul Nicholls’ five entries include Secret Investor, twice a winner at Chepstow and victorious last time out in February’s Denman Chase when he beat stablemate Clan Des Obeaux, dual winner of Kempton’s King George VI Chase.  He also has the second-season novice Threeunderthrufive, a Cheltenham Gold Cup prospect who is one of the favourites for the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury on 26 November. 

His mud-loving stayer Truckers Lodge is sure to be in the line-up.  A past winner of the Midlands National, he was third in the Coral Welsh Grand National last year behind Iwilldoit, Wales’s leading hope this year.

In 2021 Sam Thomas trained Iwilldoit to win Chepstow’s Welsh National Trial at the beginning of December as well as the big race itself.  He maintained Wales’s fine recent record in it.  His fellow countryman Evan Williams also did the Trial and National double in 2020 with Secret Reprieve and he is back on the same handicap mark as when he won.   

Five other Welsh-trained runners include Thomas’s Our Power, the recent winner of a valuable Ascot handicap and Tim Vaughan’s Eva’s Oskar, who ran his best race to date at Cheltenham last week.

This year’s race is being run in memory of the late Kim Gingell, so it would be fitting if her brother Joe Tizzard trained the winner.  His four entries include Fiddlerontheroof, a classy sort who rarely runs a bad race and is fancied for the Coral Gold Cup next week.  The Big Breakaway looked like a star in the making a few years ago, and though he has had his problems he would have a great chance if coming back to form. 

From the small Dorset yard of Ben Clarke, The Galloping Bear has an excellent win-to-run ratio and is 4-4 over fences.  His last two victories were over extreme distances in heavy ground and this will be an ideal test for him. 

There are ten entries from Ireland, whose runners in handicaps have to be respected.  Gordon Elliott has three of them, of whom Escaria Ten, three lengths third to Galvin in the 2021 National Hunt Chase, may be the best.

The race is attracting a younger, up-and-coming set of contenders these days, with 88% of the entrants aged between six and nine.  The older horses may be few in number but they have been given a chance by the handicapper.  The Two Amigos, second two years ago, and Achille, fourth in 2021, are likely to run off marks about a stone lower this time.

Executive Director of Chepstow Racecourse, Phil Bell, said, “We are really looking forward to this year’s renewal for a variety of reasons. It’s the 50th anniversary of Coral’s sponsorship of this prestigious race, which is one of the longest commercial partnerships in sport and it will also be the first time that spectators have been able to attend since 2019 due to Covid restrictions.”

Coral’s David Stevens said, “Ask Me Early, Iwilldoit and The Galloping Bear are the sponsor’s 10-1 co-favourites for next month’s Coral Welsh Grand National, which will mark the 50th year of Coral’s sponsorship of the Chepstow showpiece.  

Le Milos is next in the betting at 12-1, with Fiddlerontheroof and Secret Reprieve among the contenders quoted at 14-1.”

“We’re proud to be celebrating the 50th year of our sponsorship of this famous contest, and if the early betting is any guide, this year’s Coral Welsh Grand National will once again be both a classy and competitive Festive season highlight,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

10 Ask Me Early, Iwilldoit, The Galloping Bear, 12 Le Milos, 14 Fiddlerontheroof, Frontal Assault, Gericault Roque, Our Power, Pats Fancy, Secret Reprieve, The Big Breakaway, 16 Ashtown Lad, Threeunderthrufive, Time To Get Up, Wayfinder, 20 Bar 

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