Everything you need to know about Chepstow racecourse
Last updated & tested: 2020-01-05
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Chepstow is home to the Welsh Grand National as the race as the racecourse there is just inside Wales. This makes Chepstow races significant for this constituent part of the UK, because both Flat and National Hunt horse racing takes place there. You can get Chepstow results all year round, though only the jumps events contain high-profile races.
One thing to note straightaway about Chepstow racecourse is its proximity to the River Wye and its confluence with the River Severn. This can lead to flooding during the winter months and more than once in recent years, the Welsh Grand National meeting has had to be abandoned and the big race run in January instead of its traditional slot.
Several locations hosted horse racing in South Wales during the Nineteenth Century, but only Chepstow has survived to become the premier venue in the region. It started hosting the Welsh National in 1949 and the opening of the Severn Bridge in 1966 and M4 motorway five years later made the course even more accessible, particularly to punters across the Bristol Channel in England.
Like nearby Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, Chepstow is a left-handed track with undulations. The course is oval shaped and a circuit is almost two miles in length. Flat racing used to be more important than the jumps here, but times changed in the postwar period and the only graded action is now in National Hunt.
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Popular betting events at Chepstow races
Given that this venue is dual purpose, there are 32 Chepstow racecourse events during the course of the year. As mentioned above, these are fixtures across both Flat and jumps racing. Chepstow races used to contain Welsh versions of the Classics like The Derby, the Oaks and St Leger, but they were discontinued long ago. The main meetings nowadays are all geared around National Hunt, with one in October and the other headlined by the Welsh National in December immediately after Christmas.
Jumps Season Opener
The middle of October is when the National Hunt season gets underway and Chepstow racecourse hosts a two-day meeting that is targeted by top jumps trainers with smart prospects and handicappers alike. The Jumps Season Opener contains feature graded races each day and a range of other tasty contests.
On the Saturday, the Grade 3 Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle is the main event. This ultra-competitive contest is staged over almost two-and-a-half miles. The most famous winner of the Chepstow Silver Trophy is Don’t Push It (2007), who went on to land the 2010 Grand National under legendary AP McCoy. Court Minstrel (2015 and 2017) is the only dual winner in the race’s history.
Moving on to the Sunday, and the feature contest is the Grade 2 Persian War Novices’ Hurdle. This is over the same course and distance as the Silver Trophy (though was previously a furlong further) and named after Persian War, a three-time Champion Hurdle winner who was trained near Chepstow. It has been staged in February, November and now at this meeting since 2015. Paul Nicholls has trained a record six winners of the Persian War. Dual King George VI Chase hero Silviniaco Conti (2010) is the most famous winner of this contest for novice hurdlers.
Welsh Grand National meeting
The biggest Chepstow results are those in the Welsh National itself. Held two days after Christmas and at this course since 1949, this Grade 3 handicap chase over about three-and-three-quarter miles has thrown up clues for subsequent renewals of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National at Aintree.
It’s these types that this race is best known for rather than its three multiples winners – Limonali (1959 and 1961), Bonanza Boy (1988 and 1989) and Mountainous (2013 and 2015). Welsh National winners that went on score in the English equivalent include Corbiere, Earth Summit and Silver Birch. Notable victors of this Chepstow feature who later landed the Gold Cup include Burrogh Hill Lad, Master Oats, Synchronised and Native River.
There’s one thing all these horses have in common – they stay all day. As it’s the best part of four miles, the Welsh National requires endurance and stamina from the thoroughbreds who contest it. The race used to be on the day after Easter Monday, but from 1969 to 1979 was changed to a date in February before settling on becoming part of the established festive racing fixtures.
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that the Welsh National takes the lead among Chepstow racecourse events, but the supporting card on this December day (if it survives the winter weather) also includes the Grade 1 Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle.
A two-mile contest for juvenile horses under National Hunt rules – that means three-year-olds instead of two-year-olds on the Flat – the Finale is a key trial for those heading to the Cheltenham Festival for a crack at the Triumph Hurdle. Jonjo O’Neill holds a unique distinction in being the only man to have ridden and trained a winner of this race, while Nicky Henderson is the most successful active handler in the Finale saddling four horses to victory.
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The best bookmaker for betting on Chepstow racecourse events?
Here’s a little-known fact for you; Chepstow races are home to the oldest continuous race sponsorship in National Hunt horse racing. The Welsh National has been partnered with Coral bookmakers since 1973. That’s almost half a century of tradition. It’s not a stretch to imagine that bookie is very proud of this long and illustrious associated with this key feature race that can be so important to some of the biggest jumps races in Britain going forward. Coral sponsor the entire Welsh National card as well as the main event itself and that means their betting service is by far the best on racing at Chepstow.
Top price guarantees and extra places are both available on the feature race as standard. Coral give favourable terms to punters in a bid to drum up betting interest on their big day. They have a number of other promotions that are active all year round and can be used whether Chepstow is hosting Flat or National Hunt action. These include the best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing. Their Bet & Get Club rewards your loyalty if you bet regularly by offering you a bonus token. Coral have got Chepstow covered comprehensively.
All the Chepstow betting tips you could ever want
With Chepstow results on Welsh National day having major importance for big horse racing events going forward, you want top betting tips to support that. Our tipsters are happy to tackle the tricky contests like the Silver Trophy too and seek a bit of each-way value. The horse racing experts we call upon known a good bet when they see one! They’ve got their eyes fixed on the up-and-coming horses that could be aimed at that big juvenile prize, the Future Champions Finale Hurdle. The Welsh National is no less competitive in handicap terms than the Silver Trophy, so we’ll have all the angles covered on the big one. The sign of great experts are ones who identify potential winners well in advance of a major race. We’ve already got fancies in mind for the Welsh National and its true test of endurance. Our betting tips are thorough and give detailed explanations as to why we put up the horses we fancy. Tipsters know all the Chepstow form, so you don’t have to especially as modern life is so busy and hectic and you may not have the time to study yourself. We’ve got tasty tips for this track nailed down.
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Get expert advice and news on the events at Chepstow racecourse
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Besides getting all the terms explained to you with examples and in plain English, you can also keep checking this site for all the latest news on Chepstow races. We take a betting first approach to this and how the latest entries or declarations impacts upon big races like the Welsh National. You need to know how markets are shaped and changed by developments in the horse racing world. After all, betting is done in pursuit of making profit. If your fancy has suffered a setback, then it’s only fair you find out from a reliable source of information. You can count on us to keep our readers abreast of the latest betting news.