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Chepstow Racecourse has been the proud home of The Coral Welsh Grand National since 1949. Held in December each year between Christmas and New Year, it draws in huge crowds to see who will win this coveted title.
After the war, the Welsh Grand National came to Chepstow in 1949. The three and three-quarter mile race, known as the Coral Welsh Grand National, owes much to the support of the bookmaking firm for establishing it as one of the major events in the National Hunt calendar.
David Nicholson, ex-racehorse trainer and jockey, added his name to the Chepstow hall of fame by partnering three successive winners in 1959, 1960 and 1961. Other winners have been Stearsby, Run and Skip, Righthand Man and Burrough Hill Lad, who went on to complete the big double by landing the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup less than three months later.
In more recent times, Native River won the race in 2016, going on to win the Magners Gold Cup in March 2018. The year after, 16 year old James Bowen broke the record books by becoming the youngest jockey to ever win the race. The winner of the 2018 Coral Welsh Grand National was Elegant Escape for Colin Tizzard and jockey Tom O’Brien.
It was another tremendous achievement for trainer Jenny Pitman who during the previous season had saddled Corbière to pull off the Coral Welsh National - Aintree Grand National double. In the late 80s/early 90s, the race was dominated by trainer Martin Pipe. Bonanza Boy achieved successes in 1988 and 1989, but pride of place must go to the giant Carvill's Hill who outclassed, out galloped and out jumped his rivals in 1991 to become one of the easiest winners in the history of the race.