Coral Welsh National
Handicap Chase, Chepstow
Grade 3, £150,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 5f 110y, Class 1 
Friday 27th December 2019

1 Potters Corner 8/1
2 Truckers Lodge 10/1
3 Yala Enki 8/1
4 Prime Venture 11/1
17 ran Distances: 1¾l, 1l, 1½l
Time: 8m 21.60s (slow by 32.60s)

Potters Corner recorded a famous success for Glamorgan trainer Christian Williams.

Ridden by 7lb claimer Jack Tudor, the nine-year-old – part-owned by Wales rugby union star Jonathan Davies – relished the stamina-sapping three and three-quarter miles to register a fourth course triumph, as well as add to his victory in the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March.

Yala Enki and Two Amigos were always to the fore, but Potters Corner was on their heels throughout, while last year’s winner Elegant Escape crept into the race on the final circuit. 

Potters Corner nosed into the lead three fences from home and kept on resolutely to land the coveted spoils by a length and three-quarters from Truckers Lodge, whose Paul Nicholls-trained stablemate Yala Enki was a length away in third.

Prime Venture was fourth, with Two Amigos fifth and Elegant Escape sixth.

Williams told Sky Sports Racing: “I won’t be very popular at home, as the wife was nagging me for her to come and I said it would be a tough race, come to Newbury tomorrow. She’ll be watching at home with the children as well. It’s great.

“Jack gave him the ride I thought he would. I knew what Jack was capable of 12 months ago, so it’s no surprise to me the ride he gave the horse. He’d have ridden him all year, but he was injured when he ran at Aintree and Haydock and was back to win on him here the last day. 

“You know what ground you’re going to get at Chepstow. He relishes the soft conditions, so it was brilliant.

“We’ve got a good horse advertising us now on the big days.” 

Tudor, 17, said: “When you’re Welsh, to win a Welsh National is one of the things you look forward to when you’re a kid and when it comes true it’s brilliant.

“Christian has been massive for me. To stick with me for today just proves how good he is to me.

“This horse always travels very strongly. I had a nice position at the start. He winged the first and we had a lovely position.

“From there he got a nice lead off the two in front. He got into a rhythm and jumped great. He was different class.

“Luckily he was there turning in and rolled away. When he hits the front he knuckles down, but needs one to go with him a lot of the time to keep him company.

“He was proven over the trip and the ground. I knew he would gallop to the line, which helps.

“Pretty much all my family is here. It’s brilliant.” 

A delighted Davies said: “To be involved and win the Midlands National earlier in the year and this today is just fantastic.

“All credit to Christian – he’s been absolutely outstanding. He’s done an unbelievable job with him, and Jack, on this pretty hard day for racing, was fantastic. He gave him a confident ride and he’s definitely one for the future.

“This horse is part of the family with Christian. He’s done such a good job, having had a year out two years ago. It just shows the talent Christian has a trainer. I’m just over the moon for him.

“It was great just to see him come over the last – we knew he could run all day.”

Nicholls was at Kempton, where he said: “For his fourth run over fences, Truckers Lodge was awesome. 

“The race that screams out for him is the Midlands National. You would have to stick him in the Grand National, as although he has only had few runs over fences, he jumps brilliantly.”

He added of Yala Enki: “Giving all that weight away he ran well. I’ve got to persuade the owner to let me run in the Grand National. He is just like Neptune Collonges – he stays and stayed on strongly today.

“To me he would be ace around Aintree and they make sure it is soft around there. He doesn’t have to have a bog and Aintree always has plenty of cut in it now.”

Coral Welsh Grand National (A Handicap Chase) (Grade 3)
£150,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 5f 110y, Class 1
17 ran
Going: Heavy, Soft in places

POS DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1     Potters Corner 9 10-11 Christian Williams Jack Tudor 8/1
2
Truckers Lodge 7 10-5 Paul Nicholls Lorcan Williams 10/1
3
1 Yala Enki 9 11-7 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 8/1
4
Prime Venture 8 10-1 Evan Williams Adam Wedge 11/1
5
6 The Two Amigos 7 10-8 Nicky Martin Matt Griffiths 8/1
6
Elegant Escape 7 11-12 Colin Tizzard Robbie Power 9/4F
7
11 Arthur's Gift 8 10-1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Jamie Bargary 20/1
8
nk Pobbles Bay 9 10-5 Evan Williams Conor Ring 25/1
9
6 Now McGinty 8 10-13 Stuart Edmunds Tom O'Brien 7/1
10
  Rathlin Rose 11 10-0 David Pipe Mr Fergus Gillard 100/1
11
2 Virginia Chick 7 10-1 Evan Williams Isabel Williams 16/1
12
15 Pop Rockstar 7 10-3 Jonjo O'Neill Richie McLernon 33/1
PU Looks Like Power 9 10-0 Debra Hamer Richard Patrick 66/1
PU Space Cadet 9 10-0 Gearoid O'Loughlin Mark Enright 16/1
PU West Approach 9 11-2 Colin Tizzard Tom Scudamore 12/1
PU Captain Chaos 27 8 10-0 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 14/1
PU Field Exhibition 9 10-0 Grace Harris Danny McMenamin 50/1