A delayed 2020 edition of Wales’s biggest chase took place on 9th January 2021, having been rescheduled from its traditional December slot due to a heavily waterlogged track. The race looked as competitive as ever on paper, but there was one horse who proved all the rage in the betting. Evan Williams’ Secret Reprieve was unproven over this trip, but was officially 8lb well in under just a 4lb penalty for a 12-length romp in the trial for this event.
Also in the field were Truckers Lodge, Yala Enki, Prime Venture and The Two Amigos, who had finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively in 2019. Of that quintet, The Two Amigos was fancied to fair best having finished second to the market leader in that trial contest here. Others available at a single-figure price were Tom George’s Springfield Fox, who brought strong novice form to the table, and the Colin Tizzard runner, Christmas In April, who already boasted wins in the Devon and Sussex Nationals to his name.
- 1st – Secret Reprieve 5/2F, Jockey: Adam Wedge, Trainer: Evan Williams
- 2nd – The Two Amigos 9/1, Jockey: Matt Griffiths, Trainer: Nicky Martin
- 3rd – Yala Enki 12/1, Jockey: Bryony Frost, Trainer: Paul Nicholls
- 4th – Captain Drake 28/1, Jockey: Bryan Carver, Trainer: Harry Fry
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £85,425
- 2nd – £32,055
- 3rd – £16,050
- 4th – £7,995
- 5th – £4,020
- 6th – £2,010
Tote and Forecast Payouts
- Tote Win – £3.20
- Tote Places – 1st – £1.60, 2nd – £2.70, 3rd – £2.80
- Exacta – £28.90
- Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – £24.22
- Trifecta – £362.40
- Tricast – £242.30
Two of the fancied runners quickly made their way to the head of affairs, with Christmas In April and The Two Amigos setting out to make this a stern test over the soft ground. Headed out onto the second circuit, Christmas In April was content to take a back seat, with The Two Amigos being joined by 2019 third-placed finisher, Yala Enki. Hot favourite Secret Reprieve meanwhile was being given a quiet ride just off the pace in about seventh or eighth.
Five from home many were beginning to feel the pinch, with Springfield Fox and Christmas In April amongst those to drop out of contention. By this stage, Secret Reprieve was sitting sixth and seemingly travelling well within himself. The Two Amigos and top weight Yala Enki made a bold first of it in the straight, but neither had any answers as the favourite swept by on the outside to take the lead three from home. Three lengths clear over the final fence, he maintained that advantage to the line to land a significant public gamble in style.
The success of Potters Corner in 2019 had represented the first win in the race for a Welsh trainer for 54 years. The wait for the next home success wasn’t anything like so long, as Glamorgan-based Evan Williams landed one of the prizes he coveted above all others.
- 1. Yala Enki – SP: 12/1, Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Bryony Frost
- 2. Truckers Lodge – SP: 14/1, Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Lorcan Williams
- 3. Ramses De Teillee – SP: 16/1, Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Tom Scudamore
- 4. Lord Du Mesnil – SP: 20/1, Trainer: Richard Hobson, Jockey: Paul O’Brien
- 5. Cloudy Glen – SP: 20/1, Trainer: Venetia Williams, Jockey: Charlie Deutsch
- 6. The Hollow Ginge – SP: 50/1, Trainer: Nigel Twiston-Davies, Jockey: Jamie Bargary
- 7. Vieux Lion Rouge – SP: 18/1, Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Conor O’Farrell
- 8. Springfield Fox – SP: 8/1, Trainer: Tom George, Jockey: Sean Bowen
- 9. The Two Amigos – SP: 9/1, Trainer: Nicky Martin, Jockey: Matt Griffiths
- 10. Big River – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Lucinda Russell, Jockey: Derek Fox
- 11. Dominateur – SP: 16/1, Trainer: Oliver Sherwood, Jockey: Gavin Sheehan
- 12. Captain Drake – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Harry Fry, Jockey: Bryan Carver
- 13. Prime Venture – SP: 16/1, Trainer: Evan Williams, Jockey: Tom O’Brien
- 14. Joe Farrell – SP: 80/1, Trainer: Rebecca Curtis, Jockey: James Best
- 15. Christmas In April – SP: 9/1, Trainer: Colin Tizzard, Jockey: Brendan Powell
- 16. Bobo Mac – SP: 16/1, Trainer: Tom Symonds, Jockey: Adrian Heskin
- 17. Secret Reprieve – SP: 5/2F, Trainer: Evan Williams, Jockey: Adam Wedge
- 18. Calipso Collonges – SP: 40/1, Trainer: Olly Murphy, Jockey: Jack Tudor