Much like his leading Scottish National hope, Christian Williams is barely able to maintain his excitement for Saturday’s feature contest, with pre-race favourite Kitty’s Light primed for his big day at Ayr.
The Welsh trainer has two hot chances for the four-mile test, with Eider Chase winner Win My Wings hot on the heels of her stablemate in the market.
It is Kitty’s Light though who has long been prepared for this day, kept deliberately away from the worst of the winter ground and posting a number of top results in defeat, including finishing runner-up in the Grade Two Charlie Hall Chase and the Grade Three Coral Trophy at Kempton in February.
“We’ve tried to keep him away from those winter tracks this year where the ground is soft and heavy,” Williams told Sky Sports Racing.
“We’ve been taking him to Kempton and we wouldn’t think it’s ideal round there at three miles but he’s been great.
“He’s won us £70,000 in prize-money and the aim has been this race. We thought it would be winnable, with it only being a week before the Grand National.
“He’s just a good horse. You wouldn’t have many horses work with him at home.”
Still only a six-year-old, Kitty’s Light’s last victory came north of the border, winning over three-miles-and-two-furlongs at Kelso in March last year.
“At the start of his career the fences were probably getting in the way but his jumping has got quite good now so hopefully that will stand him in good stead,” Williams said.
“He’s only six and we hope to be running him in all the big races when he is seven, eight, nine, 10 and 11.
“This is the first time this year that we’re stepping him up to a trip that we think will suit him.
“We took him to Ffos Las the other day for a piece of work after racing. When we then took a few more the next day he was trying to bang his stable door down to come on the lorry with them. He’s extraordinary. He loves his racing.”
Williams has secured the services of top amateur rider Rob James for Win My Wings, taking off a potentially valuable 7lbs, having risen to a career-high mark of 140 after February’s win at Newcastle.
“I just couldn’t see her winning off her new mark so I was trying to work out how to bring her closer to Kitty’s Light,” Williams said.
“Conditional jockeys just wouldn’t have the experience of Rob James, who has ridden 200-300 Point-to-Point winners over fences.
“That brings her into it. Kitty’s Light has had this as a target but she [Win My Wings] deserves to have a go as well.”