Grand National ‘looks made for Kitty’s Light’

Last Updated 11 Oct 2023 | By Enda McElhinney | Commercial content | 18+ | Play Responsibly | T&C Apply | Wagering

Image via @GBRacing on X

Trainer Christian Williams is looking forward to the journey that he hopes will bring him to Aintree in the spring with star staying chaser Kitty’s Light for a tilt at the Grand National.

The Ogmore Castle-based handler is adamant that Kitty’s Light is ‘made’ for Aintree in the spring and he will, therefore, be holding the Grand National as the main aim this season.

Derby challenge first up

Before all that, Kitty’s Light will make a slightly unorthodox start to the season as Williams aims his stable star at a comeback in a 1m4f charity Flat race at Chepstow.

The Welsh Jump Jockeys Derby at Chepstow is restricted to Welsh jump jockeys, with Kitty’s Light’s regular rider Jack Tudor among the participants.

Williams’ conditional Ellis Collier will ride stablemate Uno Mas while jump jockeys’ championship leader Sean Bowen will also participate along with brother James, Lorcan Williams, Connor Brace, Adam Wedge, who was born in England but lives in Wales, and Alan Johns, who has helped organise the race.

The race, which will start Chepstow’s two-day jump season opener on Friday, is raising money for Welsh children’s cancer charity Latch, which supported Williams’ family after his six-year-old daughter Betsy was diagnosed with leukaemia in March.

Williams said: “It’ll be a really good prep race for Kitty’s Light before the Coral Gold Cup [at Newbury]. He’ll go for the race along with Uno Mas, who is coming back off a bit of an injury and has won us plenty of races over the years. It could be a good starting point for him.”

Wonderful servant now ready for Aintree challenge

Kitty’s Light completed a remarkable Scottish Grand National and bet365 Gold Cup double within seven days back in April and has now won seven times over fences for the Williams yard.

All bar one of those wins have come at a distance of three-miles or more and the trainer acknowledges how good the seven-year-old has been for his team.

“Kitty’s Light has been a wonderful horse,” said Williams. “We’ve had him since he was a yearling and Jack’s got a great relationship with him.

“Last season we gave him a chance to do something special by running him a week after the Scottish National because we knew he was capable of doing a lot of things other horses couldn’t do.

“He’s earned his chance to run in a Grand National now and it’s a race which looks made for him. Of course it’d be great to go back to Scotland but the horse deserves one season targeted towards Aintree.”

Kitty’s Light is rated a general 20/1 chance to win the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 13th April, 2024.

Support from racing immense

At a difficult time for him family, Williams’ admits the support from the racing community has proved invaluable and he says the joy from Kitty’s Light winning those big spring races was respite at the time.

He was also pleased to issue a positive update on his daughter’s continuing progress.

“Kitty’s Light winning those nice races in the spring was a huge boost for us during tough times. Other families in similar situations might not have that sort of thing to look forward to – it was a great lift,” he added.

“We’re being as positive as we can be with Betsy, there will be bumps along the way but she’s come out of maintenance now. It was a milestone seeing her walk back into school last week.

“The support we’ve had from the racing community has been brilliant and it’ll be really good to give a bit back [via the charity race] and help children coming through in the same position as my daughter.”

Enda McElhinney

Enda McElhinney is a racing writer with a growing portfolio of work on both British and Irish racing, with a particular fondness for National Hunt racing. While he acknowledges there have been many great runners; there has only ever been one Denman.

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