It may come nearly two weeks later then scheduled, but the 2012 Welsh Grand National is finally here. 5 January 2013 sees the delayed Welsh Grand National take place at its usual Chepstow home.
Originally scheduled for 27 December 2012, the Welsh Grand National was put back due to adverse weather conditions. Chepstow had been hit by severe downpours in the build-up to Christmas and Clerk of the course Keith Ottesen decided the ground was unsafe for the runners. It was hoped that the period would allow the waterlogged race course to ease up.
In an odd turn of events the postponement of the Welsh Grand National means that the meeting will not be televised on the BBC. Instead, in line with commercial arrangements all terrestrially broadcast racing from 2013 onwards will be shown on Channel 4. A coup for the Channel 4 team.
History of the Welsh Grand National
First run in 1895 the Welsh Grand National was originally run at the Ely racecourse in Cardiff. It was run in Cardiff until the breakout of World War II. Following a brief stint at Caerleon it moved to Chepstow in 1949. Run over 3m 5f the Welsh Grand National is a true test for stayers. A field of 20 horses usually take on the courses 22 fences. Entrants must be four-years or older to compete for the £90,000 in prize money.
Last year the Welsh Grand National was won by Le Beau Bai. Le Beau Bai misses this years race through injury. Only eight of the field of 20 made the whole trip, demonstrating just how great a test of stamina the Welsh National is.
Welsh Grand National 2012
The re-scheduled Welsh National features a strong favourite in Teaforthree. The Welsh hope is a 7-2 antepost price with Welsh National sponsors Coral. Winner of the Diamond Jubile National Hunt Chase at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival Teaforthree has not won in two outings this jumps season. BookiesforSports would steer clear of Teaforthree at such a short price.
Representing better value is Frenchie Michel Le Bon at 8-1 with William Hill. A winner last time out at Cheltenham in the Shloer Handicap Hurdle, Michel Le Bon was second to The Package at Wincanton in November. The other favourites to contend for a place in the Welsh Grand National are david Pipe’s Sona Sasta, a course winner and 11-year-old Giles Cross. Both also 8-1 chances.
Our Resident Big Punter’s Verdict
True value is hard to define. A winning horse would obviously qualify. But I am of the mantra that if you make a good bet and you lose so be it. With that in mind my selection for the Welsh Grand National has to be Giles Cross. Each-way of course. Last years Welsh National showed us that merely finishing the grueling 29 furlong course puts you in with a place chance. I fully expect the 2012 Welsh Grand National to continue that theme. especially given the likely heavy ground. Paddy Power are going 10-1 ante post on Giles cross which I recommend you take if you are betting on the win. Should you be an each-way punter it might well be worth holding onto your money until raceday when the bookies announce if they will be paying an extra each-way place. Paddy Power are as likely as any of the bookies to be offering this. If you like to back a horse with room for improvement then 12-1 Alfie Spinner should be your target.