Christian Williams and Jonathan Davies react to Randox Grand National weights
Trainer Christian Williams and Welsh rugby star Jonathan Davies are relishing the prospect of Potters Corner tackling the Randox Grand National a year after having to make do with watching him claim the computerised version instead.
The 11 year old had already won the Welsh National and the Midlands National before COVID-19 scuppered the 2020 running of the Randox Grand National.
But millions watched the Welsh wonder win the Virtual National on what would have been Grand National day last year and now connections are hoping he can win the real thing.
Potters Corner is all but guaranteed a run at Aintree on April 10th after being handed a weight of 10st 6lbs which places him 43rd in the list of runners at present.
Joking about their victory in the simulated race last year, trainer Williams laughed:
We will be defending that crown this year hopefully! It has been a quiet season for him up until now, with everything geared towards Cheltenham and Aintree.
Last year the main aim was the Welsh National while this time it is Aintree, so were just prepping him for the latter half of the season.
For rugby star and joint-owner Davies, even just having a runner in the race will be a thrill.
He explained: It has been an absolute dream. We feel extremely lucky with the wins we have had with him already, and we cannot ask anymore of him.
But if Potters turns out on April 10th and were lucky enough that he wins it and comes home safe it would be amazing. I think we have a European fixture the week before (Grand National day) and a league game afterwards, so Im just praying it is a Friday night game in case were allowed to be at Aintree so I can get myself up there!
If its a Sunday game, I might not turn up if he runs well!
Potters Corner failed to fire in a Pertemps Hurdle Qualifier at Exeter on Sunday, but connections are hopeful that there are no issues.
He was a bit disappointing at Exeter on Sunday and Im going to take a blood sample off him and scope him. It was a hurdle race, so perhaps he just needs those bigger fences now to spark him.
The plan is to go for the Cross Country race at Cheltenham followed by Aintree, so there is no big panic yet.
The ground was tough and hopefully it is just a race that we put a line through.
We will give him two racecourse gallops before Cheltenham and he will enjoy the day out and then hopefully he will thrive off the Cross Country race which will lead him nicely into Aintree.
I spoke to Gordon Elliott and he thought the race was a good way of getting to Aintree.
Potters seemed to take to it well (at the November Meeting) and I do think that the fences will probably help him, as its something a bit different.
Meanwhile, Williams could also be represented at Aintree by the eight-year-old Cap Du Nord, who was handed a weight of 9st 13lbs.
It means that he will need some luck in order to get into the race as he is some way down the pecking order, but Williams believes that he would not be without a chance if lining up.
He said: He could be quite exciting and the unexposed one. We think hewould enjoy a step up in trip and we have not tried him over one yet.
His best form is on really nice ground and he ran really well to finish third in soft ground at Doncaster last time.
I think he is a much better horse on good ground and he could be a very good one for this race. He is definitely progressive and I think they just outstayed him on the ground at Doncaster.
On better ground I think it would have been a different result and to be seen to his best he probably needs good ground.
His style of jumping might suit him if he takes to it and he could be a lively type if he sneaks in.