James Bowen called up for Secret Reprieve

James Bowen is delighted to have picked up the spare ride on Secret Reprieve in the Randox Grand National.

Evan Williams called up the 20-year-old after it was confirmed regular rider Adam Wedge will remain sidelined by injury next week.

Secret Reprieve announced his potential as a top staying chaser with victory in this season’s Welsh National – the latest edition of a race Bowen also won in January 2018, on Raz De Maree.

“I only got the phone call last night,” he said.

“Evan rang me and asked if I could do the weight (10st 1lb). There were butterflies in my stomach when I got the phone call.

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“It’s very exciting and a massive confidence booster that both the owners and trainer want you to ride a horse like that in a race like this.

“I’m very much looking forward to it – and I must thank William and Angela Rucker (owners) for giving me the ride.”

Bowen is hoping for a new personal best in the great race.

He added: “This will be my third (National) ride – I pulled up on Shantou Flyer in 2018 and finished ninth on Outlander in 2019. They were both outsiders, so he is definitely my best chance of winning it – and this is probably his year to have a go.

“Everyone who wins the Grand National is known as a Grand National-winning jockey afterwards.

“It would not just make my year – it would make my life.”

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