Skip to content

Welsh Grand National: Iwilldoit wins at Chepstow for Sam Thomas and Stan Sheppard as title stays in Wales again

Iwilldoit beats Highland Hunter, Truckers Lodge and Achille to win the Welsh National at Chepstow; only five finish in gruelling conditions in Wales; trainer Sam Thomas enjoys first ever graded success

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Welsh National-winning trainer Sam Thomas says Iwilldoit's victory is 'what dreams are made of' as he ensured the title stays in Wales for a third year in a row.

Iwilldoit ensured the Welsh National title is staying in Wales for a third consecutive year as local trainer Sam Thomas enjoyed a landmark winner at Chepstow.

Returning after a hugely impressive victory in the Welsh National Trial at the same track earlier this month, Iwilldoit travelled well through from the back of the 20-runner field as a number of big guns, including 2018 Gold Cup winner Native River, struggled to get home over the three-mile-and-six-furlong trip.

Jockey Stan Sheppard, riding the 13/2 shot for just the second time, delivered his mount to challenge Paul Nicholls' London National winner Highland Hunter, who had shot to the lead two fences from the end.

The victory is Thomas' biggest career success as a trainer, his first graded victory, and the Glamorgan-based handler follows Christian Williams (Potters Corner, 2019) and Evan Williams (Secret Reprieve, 2020) as Welsh winners of the race.

Nicholls pair Highland Hunter and Truckers Lodge finished second and third, respectively, with Achille fourth and last year's winner Secret Reprieve last of the five to finish.

Iwilldoit jumps the last at Chepstow clear of the field in the Welsh National
Image: Iwilldoit jumps the last at Chepstow clear of the field in the Welsh National

Thomas told Sky Sports Racing: "I'm lost for words and feeling a bit emotional. It's what dreams are made of.

"I didn't for a minute dare to think that we'd go and win today, I really didn't. I know we had a good chance but it hasn't really sunk in.

Also See:

"I was pacing up and down like a mad man. I'll be able to enjoy it a bit more later on.

"Having good horses and big targets keeps your eye on the ball a lot more but I'm loving every second of it and it gets me out of bed in the morning."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jockey Stan Sheppard enjoyed the biggest winner of his young career to date as Iwilldoit landed the Welsh National.

Porticello gives team Moore a landmark success in dramatic Finale

Porticello proved far too good for his rivals in a dramatic renewal of the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow.

Arriving as the highest-rated horse in the race, Gary Moore's three-year-old stayed clear of congestion down the back as favourite Forever Blessed got into trouble.

The Harry Fry-trained horse initially survived a major stumble after bumping into front-runner Skycutter, leaving Sean Bowen unbalanced but unscathed before later pulling up his mount.

Strong-travelling Porticello was delivered through the middle by rider Jamie Moore and went well clear of the field to run out an eight-and-a-half length winner.

It is a first Grade One success over hurdles for trainer Moore.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Jockey Jamie Moore believes Porticello's Grade One success in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow is a sign of better things to come.

Jockey Moore, son of trainer Gary, told Sky Sports Racing: "Poor old Sean [Bowen] got wiped out down the back straight but I got a nice position and had a smooth run round.

"When he hit the front he was having a look around. I think he was probably looking for another hurdle.

"I think he's going to be better when he's five years old. He's a chaser.

"A lot of credit to this horse and Dad because I wasn't mad keen on riding him today. He's a lovely big horse and I thought we could mind him a bit this year.

"We've won a Grade One now so we'll all enjoy that."

Around Sky