2018 Welsh Grand National: Elegant Escape wins at Chepstow

Jockey Tom O'Brien celebrates on Elegant Escape after winning the Welsh Grand National
Jockey Tom O'Brien celebrates on Elegant Escape after winning the Welsh Grand National

Elegant Escape won the 2018 Welsh Grand National, giving trainer Colin Tizzard his second success in three years after Native River's 2016 triumph.

The 3-1 favourite, ridden by Tom O'Brien, was pushed all the way by 10-1 shot Ramses De Teillee at Chepstow.

Yala Enki finished third, with Rons Dream fourth in the 20-strong field.

O'Brien made his move four fences from home, with the six-year-old Elegant Escape going on to win by a length and a quarter.

"Tom gave him a beautiful ride. He was always in that lovely pocket with two horses in front," Tizzard said.

"We were just hoping they were going to slow up and they did. Someone challenged him at the last, but he's a thorough stayer and he jumped well today.

"It wasn't the real old heavy ground at Chepstow we've known in the past. It was very similar to when Native River won, just on the soft side."

Elegant Escape had advertised his ability when runner-up behind stable companion Sizing Tennessee in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury four weeks ago - and showed he had improved again at Chepstow.

O'Brien had him perfectly placed in fourth as Vieux Lion Rouge and Yala Enki set a searching gallop. When Vieux Lion Rouge had enough, his David Pipe-trained stablemate Ramses De Teillee joined in.

Challenging for the lead from the fourth-last fence, Elegant Escape landed in the lead after the second-last and pulled clear of the chasing pack.

Only Ramses De Teillee was able to respond under David Noonan's guidance and threatened to haul back Elegant Escape down the home straight, but O'Brien asked for one more effort from his mount who responded magnificently for the win.

"He's a good horse. We've been very fortunate the last few years having horses like Cue Card, Native River and Thistlecrack," Tizzard added.

"This boy is not too far behind them now. He's only a six-year-old.

"We don't know where we will go. I suppose he will have a Gold Cup entry."

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