Christian Williams insists Potters Corner is on course for next month’s Randox Grand National, despite being taken out of Wednesday’s Glenfarcas Cross Country Chase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
The 11-year-old followed up victories in the Midlands and Welsh Grand Nationals in 2019 to ‘win’ last year’s Virtual Grand National, which was televised in place of the world’s greatest steeplechase which was cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
He was due to have his final prep for the big one on April 10 in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Prestbury Park.
Full list of the current 90 entries for the Randox Grand National
He was set to take on fellow Grand National contender Easysland and two-time Aintree hero Tiger Roll, but is now out of the race due to a knock picked up at Williams’ stables in Wales.
The trainer, though, is hopeful that his stable star will still be able to head to Aintree Racecourse next month.
Williams said: “He just had a slight over-reach yesterday and there’s a bit of swelling in the leg this morning, so it’s just knocked him out of tomorrow’s race.
“It’s just a simple thing, you’ve got your everyday routine on the yard and it was just a slight over-reach you think nothing of, but a slight swelling has come up on the leg from it, so he’ll need a course of antibiotics and it’s automatically knocked us out of the race.
“He was flying, that’s the worst thing. The yard seems to have been in a good place over the last few weeks, so it’s hard to take. I just feel sorry for the owners, but you’ve got to do what’s best for the horse and I had to make a decision quite quickly this morning.
“The Grand National has been his number one target for the last 18 months or so. After last year’s Welsh National we’ve targeted this race, so I’m trying to give him the ideal prep for it.
“It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster, but we feel the horse is in a very good place and I can’t see why he wouldn’t have done any damage to his Grand National hopes.”