Gorgehous Lliege: landed connections £8,065by jumping the lastPICTURE: Steve Davies
Williams labels Whillans decision 'sensible'
VENETIA WILLIAMS on Sunday backed jockey Callum Whillans' "sensible" decision to jump the final fence of Saturday's West Wales National at Ffos Las, having initially pulled up his tired mount before the last.
The Williams-trained Gorgehous Lliege was one of only two to complete the gruelling 3m4f heavy-ground chase, although it first appeared the winner - Bob Ford - was the sole finisher.
However, after giving his mount several seconds to recover his energy, and having noted there were no runners behind, Whillans decided to pop over the last - a choice worth £8,065 to connections.
"I think Callum made a sensible decision," said Williams. "He pulled the horse up because he was tired when he came to the final fence, but then he realised there was nobody behind he gave the horse a chance to catch his breath and then was able to jump over the fence with no sense of urgency."
Whillans' decision prompted confusion and controversy at Ffos Las, although after consulting the racecourse vet, who said Gorgehous Lliege was tired but had not been endangered by jumping the last, stewards concluded Whillans had done nothing wrong.