The Coral Welsh National takes place at Chepstow on Saturday 28th December. It is grade 3 handicap chase run over 3M 5½F, usually on soft or heavy ground, and it represents a serious test of any horse’s stamina.
Below we take a look at the trends for the last 10 years:
Age (for age purposes, assume 2010-11 & 2012-13 renewals were run in 2010 & 2012)
9 of 10 winners have been aged 6 to 8
Horses aged 5 to 7 have a combined record of 7-10-60, which compares well to horses aged 8+ of 3-19-118.
Horses aged 10+ have a very poor record having failed to win a single renewal in the past 10 years and gaining just 4 places from 40 runners.
French bred: 5-10-44
Irish bred: 4-14-95
GB bred: 1-5-36
USA bred: 0-0-3
Last 8 years French breds have filled 14 of 32 places from less than 26.5% of the total runners
Horses carrying 10-10 or more: 3-12-58
Horses carrying 10-9 or less: 7-17-120
No strong trend on weights.
Top weight: PF3P2377F7 (0-3-10)
Of 13 horses carrying a penalty that were racing from inside the handicap 8 finished in the first 5
Horses rated 151 to 164: 1-3-20
Horses rated 135 to 150: 5-16-87
Horses rated 121 to 134: 4-10-71
There has been a shift in the past 6 years on the trend for official ratings.
From 2001 to 2005 all 5 winners were rated below 142 and only 5 of 18 places were filled by horses rated 142+.
From 2006 to 2012 4 of 7 winners were rated 142+ and 13 of 28 placed finishers were rated 142 or higher.
Horses rated 142 or higher: 4-9-47
Horses rated 141 or lower: 3-12-82
9 of 10 winners finished in the first 4 last time (5 won)
10 of 10 winners had run in the past 55 days
9 of 10 winners had run once or twice that season
10 of 10 winners had won over 3M or further
7 of 10 winners had previously won at Chepstow (3 exceptions were having their first course start)
8 of 10 winners had run in 6 or fewer handicap chases
10 of 10 winners had won no more than 2 handicap chases prior to this
8 of 10 winners were second or third season chasers (2 exceptions were 4th season chasers)
9 of 10 winners had finished in the first 3 in a listed/graded chase (exception had yet to run in a graded chase but won Becher Chase on last run)
5 of last 7 winners ran in a 3M-3M1F handicap hurdle on 1 of previous 2 runs
Towtown Novice Chase winner (Goulanes): 1 (1-0-1)
Betfred Mobile Lotto Novices' Chase winner (Rocky Creek): 16 (1-0-2)
Unbeatable In-Running Value With Betfair H’cap Chase winner (Sydney Paget): 3 (0-1-1)
ATR Rehearsal Chase winner (Hey Big Spender): 2F (0-1-2)
Previous year's Ryman Stationery Novices' Chase winner (Highland Lodge): 26 (0-1-2)
Haydock Grand National Trial winner (Well Refreshed): 0U7P (0-0-4)
3 of 10 winners ran in the Midlands National, finishing 41P
3 of 10 winners ran in Haydock Grand National Trial, finishing 843
2 of 10 winners ran in the Towtown Novice Chase, finishing 12
2 of 10 winners ran in Classic Chase, finishing 64
2 of 10 winners ran in the Aintree Grand National, finishing 60
2 of 10 winners ran in the Becher Chase, finishing F1
2 of 10 winners ran in Newbury Pertemps Qualifier H'cap Hurdle, finishing 27
8 of 10 winners had finished in first 5 in Welsh/Scottish/Irish/Midlands Grand Nationals, the Hennessy or NH Chase at Cheltenham (1 exception fell in the NH Chase when in with a big chance and other won a 3M 4F grade 3 handicap on previous start)
Clearly form in a prestigious chase over 3M 2F or further is essential.
Paul Nicholls (2-5-19) unsurprisingly has a good record in the race having won it twice in the last 10 years.
Jonjo O’Neill (1-1-6) has also won the race twice since 2002 & saddled 33/1 placed finisher last year.
Alan King (1-3-9) and Nigel Twiston-Davies (1-2-12) have each saddled the winner and multiple placed finishers in the past 10 years.
Richard Lee (1-1-4), Philip Hobbs (1-1-7) and Jim Dreaper (1-0-1) have also all won the race in the past 10 years.
Lucinda Russell (0-2-4) and Venetia Williams (0-2-7) have both saddled a couple of placed finishers in past 10 renewals.
Irish trained runners (1-2-10) had not won the race until Notre Pere’s success in 2008.
8 of 10 winners raced prominently or in midfield
7 of 10 winners were priced 10/1 or shorter
Dream Alliance at 20/1 was the longest priced winner in the past 10 years.
The favourite (1-4-11) has won just 1 of last 10 and shows a level stakes loss of 5.67.
Based on trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Aged 6 to 8
- French bred horses do well
- Officially rated 142 or higher
- Finished in the first 4 last time out in past 55 days
- Had 1 or 2 runs this season
- Ran in a handicap hurdle over 3M+ this season
- Course winner (or having first course start)
- Won over 3M or further
- Run in 6 or fewer handicap chases (winning no more than 2)
- Won or placed in a graded chase over 3M+
- Second or third season chaser
- Finished in first 4 in Midlands National, Towtown Novice Chase or Haydock GN Trial
- First 6 in a Grand National, Hennessy Gold Cup or 4M NH Chase
- Trained by P Nicholls, Jonjo O’Neill, A King or N Twiston-Davies
- Tends to race prominently