Coral and Chepstow Racecourse today announces an extended five-year sponsorship of the Welsh Grand National.
It will take Coral’s association with one of Britain’s biggest races to 45 years, the third longest sponsorship partnership in jump racing. This year’s £100,000 race is on Saturday 28th December.
Andy Hornby, Chief Executive of Coral, says: “I actually attended my first Welsh National in 1973, and I am delighted that having been there for the first Coral-sponsored running of the race, four decades on the association remains as strong as ever.
“On behalf of everyone at Coral, I can also say how proud we are to be involved in one of the longest-running sponsorships not just in racing, but in sport, and we look forward to working with Chepstow and ARC over the next five years and beyond to ensure Wales’s greatest race maintains its position as one of the highlights of the National Hunt season.”
Phil Bell, Executive Director South West for Arena Racing Company, adds: “This sponsorship is superb news for racing and Chepstow customers. We are extremely grateful for Coral’s support of the Welsh Grand National and look forward to continuing the longest jump racing sponsorship relationship between a racecourse and a bookmaker. It’s a fantastic partnership that works well for both parties.
“Over the years, our Coral Welsh Grand National has delivered so many stories that have reflected exuberance with AP McCoy’s wins on Synchronised in 2010, heart-warming emotions when the Alner family defeated the odds with Miko de Beauchene in 2007 to last year’s epic battle in which Paul Carberry delivered the ultimate performance easing the Michael Tindall-owned Monbeg Dude to victory. So many of the winners, from Corbiere to Synchronised, are among the true greats of jump racing and this year’s renewal will hopefully deliver another great story.”
The December contest has, after first forfeit stage attracted 71 horses representing England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Coral’s current market leaders include Sydney Paget, trained by Donald McCain, the Gary Moore-trained, Well Refreshed, cut from 16/1 following a classy prep run earlier this month and Highland Lodge. The Irish-trained Goonyella, cut from 16/1 into 12/1 is second favourite.
Various racing related stages will see the final field confirmed the day before the December 28th contest competing for the £100,000 jackpot.
The showcase meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 4 for the first time ever as their main site. Coverage starts at 8am with The Morning Line with afternoon racing presented by Nick Luck.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s Sports Editor, comments: “Earlier this year, we were delighted to be able to incorporate the re-staged Coral Welsh National fixture within our January schedule. This December, the entire team will be on-site to showcase the meeting in full Channel 4 style.
“The race is a seasonal highlight with a strong history of horses going on to run, and win, at Cheltenham Festival and Aintree’s Grand National Meeting. We are thrilled that our viewers will have the opportunity to enjoy such a prestigious contest.”
Gates open at 10am for Chepstow’s biggest race meeting of the season which boasts a £190,000 total prize-pool. The seven racecard comes under starters orders at 12:05pm with the last race at 3:35pm.
Tickets can be purchased on the day from £20 or visit chepstow-racecourse.co.uk for more information.
CORAL WELSH GRAND NATIONAL PRICES & WEIGHTS (as of December 17th)
10/1 Highland Lodge, Sydney Paget, Well Refreshed
12-1 Goonyella , Hawkes Point, Silver By Nature, Teaforthree
14-1 Alfie Sherrin, Boyfromnowhere, De La Bech, Goulanes, Merry King, Nuts N Bolts, Vesper Bell, Panther Claw
16-1 Mountainous, Safran De Cotte, Tidal Bay, Teaforthree, Vintage Star, Victors Serenade, Wyck Hill