It’s Not Aintree, but the Welsh Grand National Will Boost National Economy

It’s hard to believe we’re nearly into March and two months have passed since Wales’ answer to the Grand National – the Coral Grand National.

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Taking place at Chepstow every December, the Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt Chase, open to horses aged four years or more. With 22 fences to jump over a course of 3 miles and 5 ½ furlongs, the race has made on a name for itself on the Welsh racing circuit since its inception in 1895.

The race format has changed considerably since Victorian times however. Originally, the race would take place on Easter Tuesday, but was later moved to February and now, since 1979, has taken place each year on the day after Boxing Day.

It is a hot contender for the Grand National when it comes to popularity, particularly amongst the Welsh contingent, but its sponsorship deal with sporting experts Coral has also made sure that the Welsh Grand National contributes hugely to Wales’ economy.

Bookmakers Coral have sponsored the race for 42 years and last year made the move to launch a £100,000 bonus initiative to link two of Britain’s most prestigious Grand Nationals. Coral, who already show their commitment to local racing by offering bettors Welsh Grand National stats guides, have taken it one step further by offering the race winner a sweetener.

Said sweetener is a £100,000 prize for those who win the Welsh Grand National and go on to take first place in the Scottish Grand National in April. It’s an excellent move from Coral in terms of the economy – for one, it’s a great PR exercise which will serve to highlight the excellent racing standards at Chepstow, which can sometimes be overshadowed by the famed Grand National at Aintree in April.

What’s more, the move will promote tourism across the United Kingdom. After tensions during the Scottish Referendum in September 2014, the bonus will serve to promote links between Scotland, England and Wales and therefore boost the economy throughout the UK.

Phil Bell, Executive Director at Chepstow Racecourse, said: “This bonus is superb news for jump racing and should provide a real connection and story between these two showcase events.”

Whether it’s sponsorship or betting revenue, there is no doubt that the Welsh Grand National will soon become as prestigious event as Aintree, thanks to its benefits to the economy. With the English and Scottish versions taking place in April, the Welsh Grand National ensures an exciting afternoon of racing, keeping bettors, spectators and jockeys on the edge of their seats throughout the year.

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