Richard Lee claims Welsh Grand National success for the second time in three years (From Hereford Times)
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Richard Lee claims Welsh Grand National success for the second time in three years
12:02pm Tuesday 31st December 2013 in Sport
BYTON trainer Richard Lee struck gold when he carried off the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow for the second time in three years , this time with 20/1 outsider Mountainous.
Ridden by Paul Maloney, Mountainous led approaching the second-last fence over the three-mile-five-and-a-half furlong trip and gallantly responded to his jockey’s urgings to win by a head and half-a-length from Hawkes Point and Tidal Bay.
A triumphant Lee said: “I’ve had a stinking cold and spent most of Christmas Day in bed but I feel better now. I couldn't believe how well he was going three out. I’m chuffed to bits.”
Lee had been successful two years ago with Le Beau Bai but revealed that the winner Mountainous had struck him as a likely winner of the race when he arrived in his yard three years ago.
The winner is owned in partnership by James and Jean Potter and Dai Walters, who famously once removed the horse, temporarily, from Lee’s yard after he complained about the loudness of musical entertainment at Walters’ Ffos Llas racecourse.
Last year's Welsh Grand National winner, the Michael Scudamore-trained Monbeg Dude, remains in form and is now second-favourite for the Aintree Grand National.
Scudamore's jockey brother Tom was aboard at Cheltenham’s December meeting and the pair triumphed in style in the three-mile-one-and-a-half furlong handicap chase.
Another Herefordshire trainer among the winners on Saturday was Venetia Williams who carried off a treble with the wins of Renard at Chepstow and Saroque and Baradari at Newbury.