Supreme Escape is North Yorkshire National hero for Williams and Bowen

Evan Williams was thrilled to see Supreme Escape make the long journey from South Wales worthwhile by claiming top honours in the Vickers.Bet North Yorkshire Grand National.

With a prize fund of almost £31,000 up for grabs, the stamina-sapping contest is the most valuable race of the season at Catterick and racegoers were treated to a cracking renewal in the January sunshine.

Supreme Escape, trained 280 miles away in the Vale of Glamorgan, had been well-beaten in his last two starts, but there was clearly some confidence behind him as he was prominent in the market at 5-1.

Sporting a first-time visor under a cool ride from James Bowen, the Dai Walters-owned eight-year-old powered home from the final obstacle to get up and deny Almazhar Garde by three-quarters of a length.

Williams saddled Billy Bronco to finish second in the 2018 running of this three-mile-six-furlong contest – his only previous runner at Catterick in the last decade.

“It was a very cool ride. James gets on very well with the horse and the visor has been a help, because at times the horse wants to do things his way,” said Williams.

“It’s a race we’ve gone up to in the past and they do such a good job, we try to support all these type of Nationals

“He might get into the Midlands National. He’d stay that trip so I’d say we’ll take a punt on that.”

Trainer Evan Williams
Trainer Evan Williams (Simon Cooper/PA)

Bowen, a previous winner of the Welsh Grand National and Midlands Grand National, was pleased to add the North Yorkshire edition to his CV.

He said of Supreme Escape: “He’s a good candidate for these Nationals and I’m sure he’s got a few more in him.

“I was happy at the top of the straight but got in tight to two out, which probably worried me a little bit. But he’s really quick away from a fence and even when he’s not right, he grabs the bit and takes you to each fence, which always helps.

“Evan doesn’t tell you a lot. He just said ‘do what you want on him’. He’s very easy to ride for and it’s a pleasure to ride for him.”

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