A MID WALES fairytale came true in the Coral Welsh Grand National in the driving rain at Chepstow as the Kerry Lee trained Mountainous romped home to victory.
Ridden by Jamie Moore, the horse became a two time winner in the treacherous conditions in Monmouthshire to lead over the final three fences, taking the win from Firebird Flyer 25-1, and Shotgun Paddy, a 12-1 shot.
Trainer Kerry Lee, took over from her father Richard who trained Mountainous to victory in 2013, is in her first season as a licenced trainer and was overjoyed as her horse took victory by two and three quarter lengths.
The trainer from the Mid Wales/Herefordshire border told the County Times after the race: “It is just magic and I am so happy.
“It’s one of those things you dream of doing, and it is amazing.
“This horse relishes this type of ground, and when he gets his ground he is a very good horse.
“It was my lifetime ambition to become a trainer, and it has been a great first season.”
Mountainous becomes the first 11-year-old winner since Happy Spring in the 1960’s, and the first double winner of the race since Bonanza Boy in 1989.
The win is Miss Lee’s 13th winner of a highly successful first season, where she has taken the trainer reigns from her father.
After the race she spoke to Channel Four, and more importantly her brother Tom, who presents the racing for the channel.
Tom asked if the next destination for the horse would be the Eider Chase, or the Grand National at Aintree.
Miss Lee said: “I think the Grand National has to be the target for him now.
“He really enjoys soft ground and that could be where you next see him.”
Her father Richard, and mother, Carol watched on as their daughter picked up her first Welsh National win, and he expressed his pride after the race.
He said: “I actually can’t believe it has happened, I am just so happy for Kerry.”
The original meet was postponed on December 27 due to a waterlogged track, and the conditions on Saturday saw only six runners finish. Last year’s winner Emporer’s Choice pulled up with 10 fences to go, with Saroque, 33-1, and Woodford County, 12-1, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
The win becomes the Lee families third since 2011, and on the day they picked up a third place finish in the final race as Matchway finished behind Druid’s Folly and winner Ballymalin.
See full story in the County Times