James Bowen has revealed his delight after picking up the spare ride on Secret Reprieve for the Grand National on Saturday week.
Secret Reprieve could be one of the leading contenders for the Aintree showpiece after underlining his potential as a top staying chaser by winning the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow in January.
Adam Wedge was in the saddle that day, but he has since been sidelined through injury and it has now been confirmed that trainer Evan Williams and owners William and Angela Rucker have opted to hand Bowen the Grand National ride, which has left him understandably thrilled.
"I only got the phone call last night," Bowen told reporters. "Evan rang me and asked if I could do the weight (10st 1lb). There were butterflies in my stomach when I got the phone call.
"It's very exciting and a massive confidence booster that both the owners and trainer want you to ride a horse like that in a race like this."
Bowen has ridden in two previous editions of the Grand National, but he feels Secret Reprieve represents his best chance to date of winning the historic race.
"This will be my third (National) ride," the 20-year-old added. I pulled up on Shantou Flyer in 2018 and finished ninth on Outlander in 2019.
"They were both outsiders, so he is definitely my best chance of winning it - and this is probably his year to have a go."
Article Posted on Friday 2nd April 2021 @ 17.14