What's happening at Chepstow

Mountainous Aims For Coral Welsh Grand National History

Fri, Dec 23, 2016

An eleven year old horse called Mountainous will be attempting to create a piece of racing history at Chepstow next Tuesday (December 27th).

The popular bay gelding, trained by Kerry Lee, will be trying to win the £150,000 Coral Welsh Grand National at Chepstow for a record third time having been successful in 2013 and 2015.

While racegoers will be hoping for bright blue skies and firm ‘going’ around the lawns and enclosures, the connections of Mountainous will be hoping for a Christmas gift of unrelenting Welsh rain.

Even if Mountainous gets his favoured heavy ground, he has more on his plate than in previous years because the record prize money for the biggest race in Wales has attracted a stronger line-up.

But Kerry Lee’s stable star, attempting to make history as the Welsh Red Rum, certainly won’t be lacking in stamina or courage.

His victory by the narrowest of margins over Paul Nicholls’ Hawkes Point in 2013 lingered long in the memory. Ridden by Irishman Paul Moloney, he got up to win by a head after the pair had disputed the lead three fences from the finish of the gruelling three mile five furlong race.

He was trained that year by Kerry’s father Richard Lee, who had won the Coral Welsh National two years earlier with Le Beau Bai.

“From the moment he came to the yard as a five-year-old I knew he was a Welsh National horse,” he said afterwards.

Two years later he repeated the feat, partnered by Jamie Moore, who takes the ride again this year.

Sired by St Leger winner Milan, Mountainous is the winner of six races and £163,000 of prize money and is described by those closest to him as ‘the perfect gentleman’.

He will be easy to follow in his bright purple and yellow colours among the twenty runners in the early stages of the race.

If the mud’s flying, while it may become harder and harder to distinguish him from the rest, it will be easier to see him making history. And if he does, none will be cheering louder than the hard-working stable staff from the Lee’s yard on the Welsh/English border.

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Phil Bell