Welsh National: Mountainous wins in thrilling finish at Chepstow

Welsh National winner Mountainous (right, foreground)

Mountainous beat Hawkes Point and crowd favourite Tidal Bay in a tight three-way finish to win the Welsh National.

The 20-1 shot, ridden by Paul Moloney and trained by Herefordshire's Richard Lee, held off the challenges of 14-1 shot Hawkes Point and 12-year-old Tidal Bay, who went off at 10-1.

Highland Lodge, the 13-2 favourite, led for the majority of the race but faded on Chepstow's heavy ground.

One in a Milan (50-1) was fourth, while Merry King was fifth (9-1).

Mountainous battled on bravely in the hands of Moloney to give Lee his second Welsh National success in three years after Le Beau Bai in 2011.

The winner's stablemate Knock A Hand set the pace with Highland Lodge before the more than three-and-a-half-mile marathon began in earnest over the final five fences.

"I couldn't believe how well he was going. Paul gave him an intelligent ride and got a breather into him. I was also delighted with the way my other horse, Knock A Hand, ran," Lee told Channel Four Racing.

"Mountainous has always been a nice horse. From the moment he came into our yard as a five-year-old, I said he was a Welsh National horse."

Mountainous did not have it his own way going over the last two fences as the Paul Nicholls-trained Tidal Bay - who won Sandown's bet365 Gold Cup in 2012 and proved he could mix it with the best when he won the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas - came up the outside to force a late charge.

Going over the last it was Hawkes Bay who led, but one final push from Moloney saw Mountainous cross the line a head clear.

The winning horse's owner James Potter said: "I'm chuffed to bits, we're Welsh and it's brilliant to win the Welsh Grand National. It's an unbelievable day for us.

"Just the stamina he has, it's just been a brilliant day. I'm absolutely speechless."

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