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.
“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.”