The 2021 field of the Welsh Grand National featured a parade of former champions, with Native River (2016), Elegant Escape (2018), Potters Corner (2019), and Secret Reprieve (2020) all returning for another crack at the prize. Of that quartet, it was Evan Williams defending champ, Secret Reprieve who was deemed the most likely to add a second Welsh National to his CV, with the seven-year-old being sent off as the 6/1 favourite for the race.
Also prominent in the market was the Sam Thomas runner, Iwilldoit, who had won the trial for this race by a resounding 24 lengths. Amongst those at bigger prices, Mighty Thunder arrived as the reigning Scottish Grand National champion, Highland Hunter was the London National king, and Truckers Lodge finished second in this in 2019.
- 1st – Iwilldoit 13/2, Jockey: Stan Sheppard, Trainer: Sam Thomas
- 2nd – Highland Hunter 11/1, Jockey: Harry Cobden, Trainer: Paul Nicholls
- 3rd – Truckers Lodge 28/1, Jockey: Lorcan Williams, Trainer: Paul Nicholls
- 4th – Achille 16/1, Jockey: Hugh Nugent, Trainer: Venetia Williams
Prize Money Breakdown
- 1st – £85,827
- 2nd – £32,457
- 3rd – £16,452
- 4th – £8,397
- 5th – £4,422
Tote and Forecast Payouts
- Tote Win – £7.50
- Tote Places – 1st – £2, 2nd – £2.70, 3rd – £6.10
- Exacta – £109.50
- Computer Straight Forecast (CSF) – £67.28
- Trifecta – £3,292.90
- Tricast – £1,911.65
This marathon affair is renowned for being one of the most gruelling contests of the season, and the 2019 edition certainly lived up to that billing. 20 runners were sent off by the starter, but only five made it to the finish line.
The race didn’t get off to the most promising of beginnings, with a farcical standing start seeing Discordantly, Eva’s Oskar, and Iwilldoit badly hampered. The first two of that trio failed to complete the course, but Iwilldoit certainly did.
By the time they set out on the second circuit, Iwilldoit had recovered from that early mishap and was now travelling notably well behind the pace-setting Ramses De Teillee.
As the race wore on, more and more runners fell by the wayside as the gruelling conditions took their toll. Turning for home, only seven remained in realistic contention, but it was clear that Iwilldoit was travelling much the best. Highland Hunter at least threatened to make a race of it, but he had no answer to the mount of Stan Sheppard, who forged nine lengths clear at the line.
A third successive win in the race for a Welsh trainer, and the biggest result in the career of Sam Thomas. Formerly a jockey, Thomas was most associated with the mighty Denman, but had also ridden Iwilldoit’s dam Lyricist’s Dream to the only success of her career in 2007.
- 1. Native River – SP: 16/1, Trainer: Colin Tizzard, Jockey: Brendan Powell
- 2. Elegant Escape – SP: 39/1, Trainer: Colin Tizzard, Jockey: Jonjo O’Neill Jr
- 3. Kimberlite Candy – SP: 33/1, Trainer: Tom Lacey, Jockey: Richie McLernon
- 4. Truckers Lodge – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Lorcan Williams
- 5. Mighty Thunder – SP: 18/1, Trainer: Lucinda Russell, Jockey: Derek Fox
- 6. Highland Hunter – SP: 11/1, Trainer: Paul Nicholls, Jockey: Harry Cobden
- 7. The Big Dog – SP: 11/1, Trainer: Peter Fahey, Jockey: Jonathan Burke
- 8. Ramses De Teillee – SP: 20/1, Trainer: David Pipe, Jockey: Tom Scudamore
- 9. Mac Tottie – SP: 40/1, Trainer: Peter Bowen, Jockey: Sean Bowen
- 10. Achille – SP: 16/1, Trainer: Venetia Williams, Jockey: Hugh Nugent
- 11. Secret Reprieve – SP: 6/1F, Trainer: Evan Williams, Jockey: Adam Wedge
- 12. Discordantly – SP: 18/1, Trainer: Mrs John Harrington, Jockey: Gavin Sheehan
- 13. Deise Aba – SP: 8/1, Trainer: Philip Hobbs, Jockey: Tom O’Brien
- 14. Hold That Thought – SP: 17/2, Trainer: Venetia Williams, Jockey: Charlie Deutsch
- 15. Colorado Doc – SP: 50/1, Trainer: David Brace, Jockey: Connor Brace
- 16. Iwilldoit – SP: 13/2, Trainer: Sam Thomas, Jockey: Stan Sheppard
- 17. Eva’s Oskar – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Tim Vaughn, Jockey: Alan Johns
- 18. Captain Drake – SP: 28/1, Trainer: Harry Fry, Jockey: Lorcan Murtagh
- 19. Hill Sixteen – SP: 20/1 , Trainer: Sandy Thomson, Jockey: Craig Nichol
- 20. Potters Corner – SP: 14/1 , Trainer: Christian Williams, Jockey: Jack Tudor