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Chepstow Racecourse Guide

Chepstow racecourse is one of the three tracks that Wales has to offer and plays host to Wales' most famous race, the Welsh Grand National.

The racecourse has been in existence since the early 20th century and still holds both Jumps and Flat racing, although it's better known as a jumps track these days.

It's a left-handed undulating track that can play to the strengths of speed horses in both codes and its most famous race, the Welsh Grand National, has been won by the likes of Native River, Synchronised and Mountainous in recent years. 

History of the track

Originally part of Piercefield Park, the land was bought by a group of ten Welshmen in the early 1920s and hosted its first race in 1926.

The course is now owned by Arena Racing Company, also known as ARC, who also own and operate another 15 racecourses in Britain.

The Welsh National moved to Chepstow from the now closed Newport racecourse after the Second World War in 1949 and has remained there ever since. The race is now worth roughly £150,000.

Conditions are the key

The ground plays a huge part as to how the track rides, particularly on the jumps track and none more so in the Welsh Grand National.

When the ground is good (or quicker), it really is a speed track, particularly with a steady downhill finish putting fewer demands on stamina on the home straight. The fences are generally seen as quite easy, even by today's standards, and those ridden prominently can often get away on the front end when the ground is quick.

However, in testing ground it can get very deep at Chepstow and they can often be seen coming in at long intervals, particularly over staying trips like in the Welsh National. Punters need to look for horses that have an abundance of stamina in these races when the ground is tough.

Graded action on the cards

While the Welsh National is the biggest betting race throughout the year at Chepstow, there's also Grade 2 action at both the opening meeting of the Jumps season in October, and the Welsh National meeting on 27th December each year.

The Persian War Novices' Hurdle, one of the biggest races for novice hurdlers at the start of the campaign, has been won by the likes of future staying stars Silviniaco Conti and Thyme Hill in recent times. It was won by Captain Teague, a top prospect for Paul Nicholls, in impressive fashion in 2023 and the Ditcheat trainer often targets the big meetings at Chepstow.

Later in the season on Chepstow's big day (27th December), the Grade 2 Finale Juvenile Hurdle is the main support to the big race. A race for juveniles only, it can often be seen as a useful trial for the Triumph at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The Silver Trophy Handicap and a Listed novices' chase both at the October meeting are two other notable races in the calendar.

The Golden Daffodil Stakes, a middle distance race named after a national emblem of Wales, was a Group 3 race on the Flat and was the only Group race held in Wales at one stage. However, the race was discontinued in 2005.

What Chepstow has to offer

There are plenty of options with regards to tickets and restaurants at Chepstow.

The View offers a fantastic experience in their glass front restaurant where you have unparalleled views of the racing action. There is hospitality available including private boxes and a Trackside Marquee is another option for those that require a table and seating.

There are also general admission and premier admission with the racecourse ensuring they meet the needs of all their guests at any meeting.

Children 17 and under go free to the races when accompanied by an adult (some exclusions apply) and concession discounts are only available on the day.

There's no formal dress code at Chepstow with the exception of "sporting team shirts" being banned but racegoers are encouraged to dress smart in the hospitality and restaurant areas.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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