Coral Welsh National
Handicap Chase, Chepstow 14:35
Grade 3, £100,000 added,
5yo plus,
3m 5f 110y, Class 1 
Saturday 27th December 2014


1 Emperor's Choice 9/1
2 Benvolio 11/1
3 Glenquest 33/1
4 Monbeg Dude 8/1J
5 Benbens 10/1
NR: Midnight Prayer
19 ran Distances: shd, 2½l, 6l
TIME 8m 7.60s (slow by 42.60s)

Emperor's Choice gets back up to win the Coral Welsh National after getting headed in the straight

Emperor's Choice
© Racehorse Photos

Emperor's Choice
The Venetia Williams-trained Emperor's Choice showed endless stamina to deny Benvolio and Glenquest in a thrilling finish.

The seven-year-old appeared to have blown his chance when making a mistake in the home straight, handing the initiative to the Irish challenger Glenquest, who put in a big leap at the last that looked to have sealed it.

But the bottom-weight was running on empty soon after and Benvolio seemed set to be the beneficiary, but Aidan Coleman refused to be denied on Emperor's Choice and the 9-1 chance prevailed by a short head and two and a half lengths.

Previous winner Monbeg Dude briefly threatened in the straight and stuck on for fourth.

Coleman said: "I've ridden some big winners in my career but this tops, it, I don't know why.

"I've never had a feeling like that when the photo was called. It's such a prestigious race and to win it for Venetia and the team is great. These are great owners of ours. Venetia is a world-class trainer and she deserves better horses."

Williams, winning the race for the second time after Jocks Cross in 2000, added: "I thought the fact he was in front meant the ground wasn't testing enough or they weren't going quick enough.

"I thought there would be too many in with a chance turning for home and they'd have too much speed for him, which they did, but when stamina really came into play he came back at them.

"He's been all about stamina. He was a slow learner and took a while to get into gear. I never dreamed he'd be able to make the running in such a prestigious race as I didn't think he'd be quick enough.

"It was really special for me as we had a box today with all my owners and friends and we were screaming - they must have heard us on the other side of the River Severn!"


Coral Welsh Grand National (A Handicap Chase) (Grade 3)
£100,000 added, 4yo plus, 3m 5f 110y, Class 1
19 runners
Going: Heavy, Soft in places

  Dist Horse / Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Emperor's Choice (IRE) 9/1
Aidan Coleman
10-8 Miss V Williams 7
2nd s.h Benvolio (IRE) 11/1
S Twiston-Davies
11-2 P F Nicholls 7
3rd Glenquest (IRE) 33/1
P Buchanan
10-4 S R B Crawford 11
4th 6 Monbeg Dude (IRE) 8/1j
T Scudamore
11-9 M Scudamore 9
5th 14 Benbens (IRE) 10/1
Ryan Hatch (5)
10-11 N A Twiston-Davies 9
6th ¾ Handy Andy (IRE) 14/1
Brendan Powell
10-5 C L Tizzard 8
7th ½ Woodford County (ex4) 8/1j
M G Nolan (3)
10-6 P J Hobbs 7
8th 18 Amigo (FR) 9/1
C O'Farrell
10-8 D Pipe 7
9th 36 Rebeccas Choice (IRE) (ex4) 20/1
R T Dunne
10-9 D Burchell 11
PU Shotgun Paddy (IRE) 10/1
L P Aspell
11-12 Miss E C Lavelle 7
PU Gas Line Boy (IRE) 20/1
T J O'Brien
11-10 P J Hobbs 8
PU Mart Lane (IRE) 100/1
Mr Robert Hawker (7)
11-3 Mrs S Leech 9
PU Mountainous (IRE) 14/1
Paul Moloney
11-3 R Lee 9
PU Hawkes Point 10/1
Sean Bowen (5)
11-2 P F Nicholls 9
PU Victors Serenade (IRE) 25/1
G Sheehan
11-2 A J Honeyball 9
PU Edmund Kean (IRE) 16/1
D A Jacob
11-0 P Bowen 7
PU Summery Justice (IRE) 16/1
L Treadwell
10-10 Miss V Williams 10
PU Dark Glacier (IRE) 50/1
Joshua Moore
10-8 P Bowen 9
F One In A Milan (IRE) 16/1
Conor Ring (5)
10-13 Evan Williams 9
NR Midnight Prayer
Tom Bellamy (5)
11-4 A King 9