Chepstow Racecourse History

Although the first evidence of racing in the vicinity of Chepstow was in 1867, the first meeting at the present day course at Piercefield Park took place on Friday 6th August 1926. Until Ffos Las and Chelmsford City opened in the 21st century, Chepstow was the newest of the 59 racecourses in the country. The very first race was won by Conca d'Oro in the Selling Plate, with the full result shown below. In its first year the course hosted the Welsh St Leger, which was won by the Alec Taylor trained Sledmere. In 1933 history was made at the two day meeting when Gordon Richards, later to become Sir Gordon, went through the card on the first day and won the first 5 races on day two. By this stage he had won 12 consecutive races, having won the last at Nottingham just before the start of the Chepstow meeting. In the last at Chepstow he failed by a head and a neck to give Doug Smith's Lament 34lbs. The Welsh Grand National, over 3 miles 5 1/2 furlongs, was first run at the Ely Racecourse in Cardiff in 1895. After the Second World War the race was run at Caerleon in 1948, Cardiff having closed in 1939. A year later the race moved to its current home at Chepstow, when the inaugural running at its new home was won by Dick Francis on Fighting Line. Full results are shown below. The racing manager at the course for a long time was John Hughes and it was a sad day for Chepstow when he died in 1988. The course is constantly looking at new initiatives, joining forces with Hereford in 2008 to sell joint membership, and later negotiating a similar deal with Bangor.

Currently the course offers 32 National Hunt and Flat fixtures annually.

(Extract show courtesy of the British Library Online)

Although Chepstow remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Cardiff closed its gates for the final time in 1939.

Cardiff first recorded a three day race meeting from Wednesday 31st July to Friday 2nd August 1782 at Heath Farm when the Mansel-Talbot Cup over 2 miles went to Mr Pritchard’s Perdita. The meetings proved popular and were supported by the Cardiff Corporation who donated £20 to the racing fund each year. James Whyte, in his ‘History of the British Turf’ records the card in July 1839 consisted of the Glamorganshire Stakes, the Coronation Stakes and the Cardiff Stakes, all over 2 miles. The Ely Racecourse, an excellent viewing course, perfectly flat and extending to just a mile, was used for the first time on Wednesday 30th May 1855, although Flat racing came to an end on Wednesday 3rd May 1876, racing lapsing in the town for eight years. However, meetings were revived on Wednesday 28th April 1886 when the public’s interest was rekindled. In 1895 the Ely course received a tremendous boost when they played host to the Welsh Grand National for the first time, and by 1921 they were also rewarded with the Welsh Champion Hurdle and were the undoubted premier track in Wales. Tragedy struck in 1937 when fire gutted both main stands, and although racing did continue for two years after the event, the final meeting took place on Thursday 27th April 1939.

Wednesday 31st July 1782
Cardiff Mansel-Talbot Cup over 2 miles
1. Perdita owned by Mr Pritchard
2. Unnamed colt owned by Mr Matthews
3. True Briton owned by Mr Thomas

I am grateful to Ordnance Survey (© Crown Copyright) for permission to use the 1945 map shown below.
1948 Ladies 1949 Ladies 1949 Gents 1950 Gents 1951 Ladies

The rare handbill shown below is provided courtesy of the Robert Shaw collection.

1958 Gents 1958 Ladies 1959 Gents 1960 Ladies 1961 Gents

1949 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Fighting Line, trained by Ken Cundell and ridden by Dick Francis
1950 The Welsh Grand National was won by 12 year old Gallery, trained by W Bissill and ridden by A Mullins
1951 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Skyreholme, trained by Neville Crump and ridden by A Thompson
1952 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Dinton Lass, trained by J Roberts and ridden by A Mullins
1953 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Stalbridge Rock, trained by Harry Dufosee and ridden by Bob McCreery

1962 Gents 1963 Ladies 1964 Gents 1964 Ladies 1965 Ladies

1954 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Blow Horn, trained by T Jarvis and ridden by J Hunter
1955 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Monaleen, trained by H T Smith and ridden by P Fitzgerald
1956 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Crudwell, trained by F Cundell and ridden by Dick Francis
1957 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Creeola II, trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Michael Scudamore
1958 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Oscar Wilde, trained by Bill Wightman and ridden by Brian Lawrence

1966 Gents 1967 Ladies 1967 Gents 1968 Ladies 1969 Gents

1959 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Limonali, trained by E C Morel and ridden by David Nicholson
1960 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Clover Bud, trained by G Llewellin and ridden by David Nicholson
1961 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Limonali, trained by I Lewis and ridden by David Nicholson
1962 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Forty Secrets, trained by E Jones and ridden by Josh Gifford
1963 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Motel, trained by W Lowe and ridden by P Cowley

1969 Ladies 1970 Ladies 1971 Gents 1972 Ladies 1973 Gents

1964 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Rainbow Battle, trained by Arthur Stephenson and ridden by Paddy Broderick
1965 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Norther, trained by D Jenkins and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe
1966 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Kilburn, trained by C Nesfield and ridden by Tim Norman
1967 The Welsh Grand National was won by 11 year old Happy Spring, trained by J S Wright and ridden by Ken White
1968 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Glenn, trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Eddie Harty

1973 Ladies 1974 Gents 1974 Ladies 1975 Gents 1975 Ladies

1969 The Welsh Grand National was abandoned due to snow
1970 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old French Excuse, trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by Terry Biddlecombe
1971 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Royal Toss, trained by H Handel and ridden by P Cowley
1972 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Charlie H, trained by Bob Turnell and ridden by Johnny Haine
1973 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Deblin’s Green, trained by G Yardley and ridden by Nigel Wakley
1974 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Pattered, trained by E Jones and ridden by Ken White

1976 Gents 1976 Ladies 1977 Gents 1978 Gents 1979 Gents

1975 The Welsh Grand National was abandoned because the course was waterlogged
1976 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Rag Trade, trained by Fred Rimell and ridden by John Burke
1977 The Welsh Grand National was abandoned because the course was waterlogged
1978 The Welsh Grand National was abandoned due to frost
1979 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Peter Scott, trained by David Gandolfo and ridden by Paul Barton
1980 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Narvik, trained by Neville Crump and ridden by John Francome

1980 Gents 1981 Gents 1982 Gents 1983 Ladies 1983 Gents

1981 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Peaty Sandy, trained by Helen Hamilton and ridden by Mr Geordie Dun
1982 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Corbiere, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Ben de Haan
1983 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Burrough Hill Lad, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by John Francome
1984 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Righthand Man, trained by Monica Dickinson and ridden by Graham Bradley
1985 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Run and Skip, trained by John Spearing and ridden by Peter Scudamore

1984 Gents 1985 Ladies 1985 Gents 1986 Ladies 1986 Gents

1986 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Stearsby, trained by Jenny Pitman and ridden by Graham Bradley
1987 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Playschool, trained by David Barons and ridden by Paul Nicholls
1988 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Bonanza Boy, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Peter Scudamore
1989 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Bonanza Boy, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Peter Scudamore
1990 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Cool Ground, trained by Reg Akehurst and ridden by Luke Harvey

1987 Member 1988 Member 1989 Member 1990 Member 1991 Member

1991 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Carvill’s Hill, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Peter Scudamore
1992 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Run for Free, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Mark Perrett
1993 The Welsh Grand National was won by 10 year old Riverside Boy, trained by Martin Pipe and ridden by Richard Dunwoody
1994 The Welsh Grand National, run at Newbury, was won by 8 year old Master Oates, trained by Kim Bailey and ridden by Norman Williamson
1995 The Welsh Grand National was abandoned due to frost
1996 The Welsh Grand National was abandoned due to frost

Chepstow 1993.JPG (12784 bytes)
1992 Member 1993 Member 1994 Member 1995 Member 1996 Member

1997 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Earth Summit, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Tom Jenks
1998 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Kendal Cavalier, trained by Nigel Hawke and ridden by Barry Fenton
1999 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Edmond, trained by Henry Daly and ridden by Richard Johnson
2000 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Jocks Cross, trained by Venetia Williams and ridden by Brian Crowley
2001 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Supreme Glory, trained by Pat Murphy and ridden by Leighton Aspell

1997 Member 1998 Member 1999 Member 2000 Member 2001 Member

2002 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Mini Sensation, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by Tony Dobbin
2003 The Welsh Grand National was won by 9 year old Bindaree, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by Carl Llewellyn
2004 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Silver Birch, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2005 The Welsh Grand National was won by 6 year old L’Aventure, trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Leighton Aspell
2006 The Welsh Grand National was won by 6 year old Halcon Genelardais, trained by Alan King and ridden by Wayne Hutchinson

2002 Member 2003 Member 2004 Member 2005 Member 2006 Member

2007 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Miko de Beauchene, trained by Robert Alner and ridden by Andrew Thornton
2008 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Notre Pere, trained by Jim Dreaper and ridden by Alan Lynch
2009 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Dream Alliance, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Tom O’Brien
2010 The Welsh Grand National, run in January 2011 due to snow and frost in 2010, was won by 8 year old Synchronised, trained by Jonjo O’Neill and ridden by Tony McCoy
2011 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Le Beau Bai, trained by Richard Lee and ridden by Charlie Poste

 
2007 Member 2008 Joint Membership 2008 Joint Jumps Membership 2014 Member  

2012 The Welsh Grand National, run in January 2013 due to a waterlogged course in 2012, was won by 8 year old Monbeg Dude, trained by Michael Scudamore and ridden by Paul Carberry
2013 The Welsh Grand National was won by 8 year old Mountainous, trained by Richard Lee and ridden by Paul Moloney
2014 The Welsh Grand National was won by 7 year old Emperor’s Choice, trained by Venetia Williams and ridden by Aidan Coleman
2015 The Welsh Grand National, run in January 2016 due to a waterlogged course in 2015, was won by 11 year old Mountainous, trained by Kerry Lee and ridden by Jamie Moore
2016 The Welsh Grand National was won by 6 year old Native River, trained by Colin Tizzard and ridden by Richard Johnson

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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