2020 Welsh Grand National Review and Results

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The 2020 Welsh Grand National was pretty unique – mostly because it was actually run in 2021!

Owing to bad weather at Chepstow, running the race on its traditional December 27th date was not an option but on Saturday, January 9th we finally saw a well-planned gamble landed as long-time favourite Secret Reprieve landed the odds.

Trainer Evan Williams was winning his home National for the first time, while it was a quick double for Welsh trainers after Christian Williams’ victory in 2019 with Potters Corner.

Full 2020 Welsh Grand National Finishing Order

Welsh Grand National FavouritesSecret Reprieve 5/2 fav
1The Two Amigos 9/1
2Yala Enki 12/1
3Secret Reprieve
4Captain Drake 28/1
5Prime Venture 16/1
6Bobo Mac 16/1
7Truckers Lodge 14/1
8Big River 28/1
9Lord Du Mesnil 20/1
10Vieux Lion Rouge 18/1
11Cloudy Glen 20/1
12Ramses De Teillee 16/1
13Dominateur 16/1
PUJoe Farrell 80/1
PUCalipso Collonges 40/1
PUChristmas In April 9/1
PUSpringfield Fox 8/1
PUThe Hollow Ginge 50/1

While five runners pulled-up and therefore didn’t see out the distance, this was a remarkable Welsh Grand National in the sense that not a single horse fell at any fence.

The jumping was superbly professional all round and only the very soft going stopped all 18 runners from getting round on what was a fantastic day for Chepstow, even in the absence of a crowd.

Welsh Grand National 2020 Betting Results

Secret Reprieve’s win in this race, long in the planning, led to some emotional television interviews after the event with trainer Evan Williams.

Welsh-based, Williams had not won this race before but trained the fourth horse home, Prime Venture, in 2019 and planned to run both him and Secret Reprieve this time around.

While Prime Venture was a last-time-out winner and a solid proposition at 16/1, all the money had been for Secret Reprieve since December with the young chaser a very strong favourite in the ante-post markets.

Seven-year-old Secret Reprieve, ridden by Adam Wedge, was ultimately sent off as the 5/2 favourite which is very short for a race of this nature, a tough 3-mile, 6½ furlong test featuring 18 runners on soft ground who have to take on fully 23 fences.

In the end, however, Wedge’s mount came into the race so smoothly, hitting the front with three fences to go before staying on admirably to land the £85,000 first prize by three lengths from 9/1 shot The Two Amigos.

Secret Reprieve had come into the race as a very easy winner of the Welsh Grand National Trial, using his experience of the course and his strong recent form very much to his advantage. The Two Amigos just beat Yala Enki home while Captain Drake and the aforementioned Prime Venture completed the top five.

As a young chaser, it is hoped and expected that Secret Reprieve will be aimed at a repeat attempt on December 27th this year, while his trainer Evan Williams is becoming very adept at preparing his string for this particular race and so anything he runs next time out should be noted carefully.

Welsh Grand National

Welsh Grand National at the Chepstow Racescourse. Photo Credit: Amanda Slater / Flickr / CC-BY-SA 2.0

Welsh Grand National 2020 Results

18 runners ultimately went to post for the delayed Welsh Grand National in January at Chepstow, with Secret Reprieve’s success meaning there was a third winning favourite in five years.

Given that he turned seven in January, officially though was also a strong ante-post favourite when the race was due to be run on December 27th, the gelding’s win also means that those three winning favourites were also all six years old meaning the younger chasers have done very well in this race of late.

Some horses were nibbled at in the betting; Springfield Fox at 8/1, The Two Amigos at 9/1 and the same price for ‘National specialist’ Christmas In April were all backed, but really Secret Reprieve dominated the betting here at 5/2.

Two of the best-backed horses were first and second, while Yala Enki (third), Prime Venture (fifth) and Bobo Mac (sixth) were not unfancied either beforehand as punters did well.

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