Welsh Grand National Meeting Betting Tips – Thursday 27th December 2018

The racing action certainly comes thick and fast over the festive period, with plenty for fans to get stuck into up and down the country. Wales gets in on the act too as Chepstow plays host to its flagship meeting.

Headlined of course by the first “National” of the season, it will be that stamina-sapping contest which grabs most of the attention, but we do have plenty of quality on offer on the undercard, including a cracking Grade 1 Hurdle for the juveniles. There are seven winners to find in all, and here we give it our very best shot.

12:30pm – Get Super Smart Boosts At Coral Maiden Hurdle (Class 4), 2m3½f

Deadline Diva to win at SP

The card kicks off with this competitive contest for the maiden hurdlers, which has interestingly been landed by a five year old in eight of the past nine seasons. The race has been won by some pretty smart sorts too considering its only a Class 4 contest, with The Worlds End and O’Faolains Boy two notable winners from the past five years.

This has been taken by nine different trainers in the past nine years, so isn’t the greatest of races for trainer trends. One of those to have been successful though is Philip Hobbs who sent Stilletto out to victory in 2014, and we fancy he may go pretty close again this year with Samburu Shujaa. This one has done well to finish in the first three in four of his seven hurdle starts considering his efforts have more often than not been blighted by errors. There were signs of improvement in that regard last time though, and he looks to have the ability to make the shakeup here if granted a clear round.

1:05pm – Download The Coral App Handicap Chase (Class 2), 2m3½f

Pressurize each way at 14/1 with Ladbrokes

Paul Nicholls looks set to send out the clear favourite here in the form of his seven year old son of Presenting, Touch Kick, Pretty impressive when winning his first start of the season on good ground, he was then well beaten off on good to soft last time out, and may not be suited by the likely soft conditions here.

This has been something of a Venetia Williams benefit of late, with one of the top female trainers in the game having plundered the pot five times in the past six years. Of her three entries this year the one to make the most appeal is the defending champion Pressurize. He may be pushing 13 years of age now but won this by a distance last season and following something of an up and down time of it since, he gets in off the same mark of 129 this time around. At a nice each way price, he will do for us.

1:35pm – Coral Finale Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1), 2m

Adjali to win at Evens with bet365

We move up in class for race three and what looks an excellent renewal of this Grade 1 contest for the three year olds, with no fewer than eight last time out winners amongst the current entries. The Paul Nicholls trained Quel Destin will actually be seeking a four-timer here and possesses a most admirable attitude. He shouldn’t be far away.

Overall though we feel the favourite may prove very tough to beat. There are few better than Nicky Henderson when it comes to the training of talented young hurdlers, and he might just have another star on his hands in French recruit, Adjali. The comments coming from the yard had been notably strong about this one prior to his stable debut at Market Rasen last time out, and he certainly delivered on the hype. The winning distance was officially 13 lengths that day but could well have been considerably more as he cruised home on the bridle. Henderson won this with an Isaac Souede and Simon Munir trained runner in We Have A Dream last year, and can repeat the trick here.

2:10pm – Smart Money’s On Coral Handicap Hurdle (Class 2), 2m7½f

Another Emotion each way at 9/1 with Ladbrokes

Back to competitive handicapping action for race four as the staying hurdlers take to the track. Truckers Lodge goes for Paul Nicholls and must make the shortlist having stormed home by 10 lengths over this course and distance last time out. The handicapper has taken evasive measures in hiking him 13lbs for that though which will likely make things significantly tougher here.

The one we like at a bigger price is the Warren Greatrex runner, Another Emotion. Having just the fourth hurdles start of his career here, he ranks amongst the least exposed contenders in the field and looks to possess the potential to improve beyond a mark of 123. Second on his comeback from a 237 day break last time out, he travelled notably powerfully that day only for his effort to peter out a little. He was still only beaten six lengths though and, sharpened up by that run, he can go close.

2:50pm – Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3), 3m5½f

Folsom Blue each way at 8/1 with Coral

And so to the big one. A challenging 3m5½f is the trip with 22 fences to be negotiated in likely testing conditions; it takes a tough stayer to prevail around here. Raz De Maree proved to be the toughest of them all when coming home in front in what turned into a real slog 12 months ago and will return to defend his crown. The recent rain at the track is in his favour, his age however isn’t, as he’s pushing 14 now.

Colin Tizzard won this in 2016 with Native River and has live claims of landing a second success in the race with his recent Ladbrokes Trophy runner up, Elegant Escape. He was no match for stablemate Sizing Tennessee that day, but that still represents just about the best recent form in the race and he looks set to start favourite. He can’t be ruled out but just looks priced a little on the short side.

Gordon Elliott famously claimed Aintree Grand National gold last season with Tiger Roll, and we will be backing him to send out another Gigginstown House Stud owned runner to success here. Folsom Blue ticks all the right boxes. Seven times a winner on soft or heavy going, and twice successful at 3m4f and beyond, he looks the ideal sort for this challenge. He was never likely to be suited by taking on younger and speedier rivals over a trip too short last time out at Haydock, but that will at least have served to blow away the cobwebs ahead of his likely big target here.

3:25pm – Coral #YourCall Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (Class 3), 2m7½f

Brymawr each way at SP

Colin Tizzard’s Brynmawr is worth chancing at what should hopefully be a nice each way price in our penultimate race. Soft ground and a close to three-mile trip look to be just what this one needs in order to be seen to best effect, and he appears likely to get both here. Steadily progressive as a hurdler, he was going along nicely enough in better company than this on his chase debut last time out, before losing all chance when belting the eighth fence. He’s in the right hands to improve in that regard and looks fairly handicapped off 125.

3:55pm – "Build Your Bet" On Football At Coral Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 4), 2m

Ask For Glory to win at SP

Bumper action rounds off the proceedings with a number of likeable sorts amongst the entries. Move Above won nicely on debut for Alastair Ralph and looks interesting, as do the nicely bred duo of Born To Sting and Financier. The one we like though is the Paul Nicholls runner Ask For Glory who bolted up in a Point To Point despite reportedly not looking like he was in anything like peak condition. That came back in May and if he has improved physically since that day, he may well prove tough to beat.