Potters Corner is recovering from his Grand National exertions – and may well be back at Aintree for the Becher Chase next season.
Christian Williams reports his popular stayer slightly “stiff and sore” after eventually pulling up behind Minella Times at Aintree on Saturday, but otherwise none the worse for his experience.
The Glamorgan trainer has big plans for a clutch of other stable stars in what remains of this season – with Kitty’s Light and Cap Du Nord both on course for this month’s bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Sandown.
Potters Corner, however, has earned a rest. Asked how his Welsh and Midlands National winner is faring after his latest marathon attempt, Williams said: “He’s not too bad. He’s a little bit stiff and sore, but he’s okay.
“We’ll probably leave him now for the season and aim him for the cross-country race (at Cheltenham) and then maybe go back for the Becher Chase.
“The Welsh National-type horses, perhaps that type of race (Grand National) doesn’t suit them (these days).
“Bottomless ground at Chepstow, then Aintree on quicker ground, it’s a different test.”
He went on: “We’ll put him away now. He hasn’t got masses of mileage – I think he’s only run four times in the last two years.
“We’ve picked out races for him a little bit, so we hope there’s a little bit left in him.
“But he’s been such a great horse for the yard and the owners – we’ll run him in the cross-country, then the Becher, and take a view from there what route we go down, whether to carry on running or we should retire him.”
Kitty’s Light is six years Potters Corner’s junior – and a remarkable example of how horses can defy expectations.
Williams bought the Flat-bred cheaply, has seen him win four of six chases over ever increasing distances in his first season over fences – and is ready to set him his most exacting test yet in Sandown’s big handicap.
He said: “We’re looking forward to Kitty – we’ve had the Sandown race in the back of our mind since he finished third in the Badger Beer (at Wincanton) last year.
“That’s been his main aim for a long time, so it’s all systems go.
“We popped the tongue tie on him at Kelso, and found a little bit of improvement with that as well.
“He’ll be relatively fresh going into the race, and we hope the trip will suit him.
“We think the track, with the nice uphill finish, will suit him.”
Kitty’s Light will be joined by Cap Du Nord, winner of a Newbury handicap and third in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster this season.
“Cap Du Nord will go for Sandown as well,” added Williams.
“He’s got a good profile, just had a blip last time when he pulled up over hurdles – like a lot of those chasers too.
“With his profile before that, we’ll be looking forward to running him.
“He’ll be no back number. We hope he’ll turn into one of those good staying chasers as well.”