Valentine heartache for Mountainous


Ben Goddard

MOUNTAINOUS fell at ‘Valentine’s’, the ninth fence, while in third position in the 167th Crabbies Grand National at Aintree.

The nine-year-old gelding co-owned by Leighton’s James and Jean Potter and trained by Richard Lee of Presteigne went into one of the most watched horse races in the world as an outside 40-1 shot.

A huge 70,000 crowd filled the famous racecourse, in Liverpool, to watch the race with a predicted 600 million watching on the television.

The race was not without its controversy as a false start meant the horses had to be called back, before they got underway at the second attempt.

Despite his outside ranking the Welsh National Champion looked composed from the start and, ridden by Jamie Moore, looked to be in with a good shout in the early stages.

As horses fell around him Mountainous was one of the front runners coming around Canal Turn on the first lap, until the ninth fence out of 30 fences - ‘St Valentine’s Brook’.

Coming over the five-foot fence Mountainous was distracted by the leader Long Run falling beside him and lost his footing, throwing off jockey Moore who suffered slight concussion from the fall.

The Welsh National champion came home safely - without his jockey at the end of the first of two laps.

Potter hopes that Mountainous will be back to take on the Grand National course again next year.

He said: “He went very well until the ninth fence when I don’t know what happened but he came down and threw off Jamie Moore, who was slightly concussed. The horse is fine and got up so it was good that he got home safely.

“It was a good experience for him and hopefully he will be back again next year.”
Trainer Lee was proud of how Mountainous was running before his fall.

He said: “Mountainous ran immaculately until the ninth jump and I am really pleased with that and everything was going to plan. At the ninth he got distracted by Long Run falling out of the corner of his eye and payed the price for getting distracted with his fall.

“The main thing is that he came out of the race safely and I think the modifications of the course made it a lot safer for all the horses.”

Victory in the prestigious race went to 25-1 outside shot Pineau De Re, who jumped perfectly and came through strong over the last two fences to secure a prize pot of nearly £500,000 for his owner.

Lee told the County Times that Mountainous is next likely to run next at the Punchestown Festival between April 29 and May 3.

Another Potter owned horse ‘Edmund King’ is down to run this weekend in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

See full story in the County Times

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