Secret Reprieve provided proud Welshman Evan Williams with victory in the rescheduled Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow on Saturday.
The Coral Welsh Grand National goes to Wales again! ??— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) January 9, 2021
Secret Reprieve incredibly overcomes an undone girth to win the @Chepstow_Racing showpiece for @EWilliamsRacing and @adamkwedge! pic.twitter.com/ozJ0rLUac2
An impressive winner of the Welsh Grand National Trial at Chepstow in early December, the Flemensfirth gelding had been strongly fancied for the big race itself ever since.
And while the three-mile-five-furlong contest had to be abandoned due to a waterlogged track over the Christmas period, he was still allowed to line up under a 4lb penalty, meaning he was 8lb well-in at the weights.
With just 10st 1lb on his back, Secret Reprieve was all the rage as the 5/2 favourite, and his supporters will have had few concerns throughout the stamina-sapping feature, with the lightly-raced seven-year-old always travelling strongly and jumped accurately.
Despite having suffered two heavy falls earlier in the day, Adam Wedge cut a confident figure in the saddle rounding the home turn – and while The Two Amigos refused to go down without a fight and made a race of it, the market leader proved three lengths too strong.
Just as he was in 2019, top-weight Yala Enki was third.
TWO IN A ROW
Victory was going to a Welsh-trained runner for the second season in succession, with Potters Corner, trained by Christian Williams, becoming the first Welsh winner since Norther in 1965 when triumphing last term.
Bred by Robert McCarthy at The Beeches Stud, Secret Reprieve was sold for €11,500 as a foal at Tattersalls Ireland before being re-sold at the Derby Sale there for €45,000.