Welsh Grand National Betting Tips & Analysis – Chepstow, 6th January 2018

The Welsh Grand National was originally set to run on 27th December but bad weather put paid to that. It’s been rearranged for this Saturday, however, and with most of the original field set to compete, we’re looking at a very interesting contest in prospect.

It’s a real test of stamina for the horses that make the cut, and the heavy conditions are only going to accentuate that. The undulating course at Chepstow can be a taxing one at this time of year and especially so when competing over a distance of a little more than three miles and five furlongs.

Trends To Look Out For

Horses older than eight years old regularly feature in this race but their younger rivals have prospered far more often in recent times. In fact, in the last 13 renewals there has been just the one winner older than eight. A decent run last time out is also another key trend in this race. Looking back at the last 20 years, horses that finished in the top four last time out make up 85% of winners from just 58% of entire runners.

You must give stamina plenty of consideration here. Horses have a long way to travel and the ground at Chepstow is set to be particularly testing after the recent bad weather. A distance win, or even close to one has not been present in a lot of recent winners though. Eight of the last 20 winners hadn’t previously won over further than three miles, two furlongs although none of them were without a win of at least three miles. For a race which has had at least 17 runners since 2004, there haven’t been all that many shocks. Only four first past the post in this time have been priced greater than 10/1.

Betting Tips

Main Pick – Ask The Weatherman at 12/1 with Coral

Alternative Tip – Vicente at 16/1 with BetVictor

Rock the Kasbah, priced at 11/1 with Betfair, put in a strong showing at Chepstow in October which has helped make him one of the shortest priced options here. He’s a true course specialist having finished in the top two in his five starts in south Wales. Distance is a concern for him though as he’s not yet won a race at least three miles in length. Houblon Des Obeaux (25/1 with Coral) brings bags of long distance experience with him and he also finished third in last year’s renewal. A sixth place finish at Sandown on his last start, in which he faded towards during the latter stages, will be a worry for his connections though.

Chase the Spud (11/1 with Ladbrokes) has the form and most certainly has the stamina, something he displayed during his Midlands National win in March. At nine years old his age is a small concern though as his poor record at Chepstow. There’s less to object about Beware The Bear (10/1 with Betfair) who began this season with a Listed win at Newcastle. It was a far from a fluent performance form the seven year old but the fact that he still won despite this will offer Nicky Henderson some hope.

Ask The Weatherman was a star in point to point racing and he’s made a very good start to life as a National Hunt chaser. He’s picked up two wins from three starts and his seasonal debut at Exeter saw him run like a horse who has done this many times before. This will be a huge test of his ability but he looks up to the challenge. This too can be said of Vicente, winner of April’s Scottish Grand National. He didn’t disgrace himself when finishing sixth in last year’s Welsh National and this time he has benefit of approaching the race on the back of a fluid showing at Cheltenham.