The winner of the 2014 Coral Welsh Grand National, run at Chepstow Racecourse on Saturday 27 December, will earn a £100,000 bonus should the horse then win the Coral Scottish Grand National on Saturday 18 April 2015.
Coral’s sponsorship of these two historic Grand Nationals will total 49 years combined when the Welsh Grand National gets underway on the last Saturday in December.
The Coral Welsh Grand National is the third longest sponsorship partnership in jump racing, with Coral and Chepstow celebrating their 42nd year of partnership in less than three weeks’ time. Coral has recently signed a five year renewal of the sponsorship with Chepstow Racecourse taking the sponsorship through to 2018.
Coral has sponsored the Scottish Grand National since 2007, and has also recently signed a five year renewal with Ayr Racecourse taking the sponsorship through to 2019.
Commenting on the initiative, Phil Bell, Executive Director of Chepstow Racecourse, said: “This bonus is superb news for jump racing and should provide a real connection and story between these two showcase events.
“Run For Free was the last horse to do the double back in 1992/1993, and since then Earth Summit also showed that winning both Grand Nationals is possible, albeit three years apart, when he won the race in Scotland in 1994 and in Wales in 1997.
“The festive meeting at Chepstow continually attracts an enthusiastic crowd. As one of the largest fixtures in the Welsh sporting calendar, we are delighted that the national anthem will be sung prior to the race, by international opera stars, Bryn Terfel and Rebecca Evans. We are also thrilled that we will be joined on the day by Alex Cuthbert and Taulupe Faletau, fresh from their thrilling win against the Springboks. I’m sure it’ll be another great day to remember for racegoers.”
Commenting on the event, Wales’ Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, said: “The Welsh Grand National is one of the flagship events in the Welsh sporting calendar, attracting visitors from across Wales and beyond and showcasing Wales to a much wider audience through TV exposure. It has succeeded in attracting a great field this year with some strong home contenders. A Welsh winner would be a great boost to the growing industry in Wales, with the courses at Bangor on Dee and Ffos Las all providing year round entertainment in Wales, contributing to Welsh tourism and the local economy.”
Simon Clare, Coral PR & Broadcast Director said: “The Coral Welsh Grand National and the Coral Scottish Grand National are the richest and most prestigious races staged in Wales and Scotland respectively and this £100,000 Coral National Bonus will now forge a direct and exciting relationship between these two historic events and our association with them.”
“Coral has a proud record of longstanding sponsorships of major horse races in Great Britain, also including the likes of the Coral-Eclipse and the Coral Cup, and our partnerships with Chepstow and Ayr are as strong today as when they were forged in 1973 and 2007 respectively. The launch of this exciting new £100,000 Coral National Bonus and the agreements that we have signed to sponsor both great races for five more years is a clear demonstration of our unwavering commitment to the sport of horse racing and of our support for those who participate in it,” added Clare.
“Coral customers and all those who bet on horse racing are also huge fans of these two great races with the Coral Scottish Grand National the sixth biggest betting race in the calendar and the Coral Welsh Grand National the thirteenth biggest betting race of the year,” concluded Clare.
David Brown, Ayr Racecourse Managing Director, welcomed news of the bonus and said: “This is an initiative that we firmly believe will further enhance the reputation and prestige of the Coral Scottish Grand National along with the Coral Welsh Grand National.
“Anything that helps attract the very best horses to Ayr for this great race is welcomed and what a superb achievement it would be if a horse could win the double.”