WHILST Sean Bowen had a late call-up to ride 40-1 outsider Give Me A Copper in the 2021 Grand National, younger brother James missed a chance to ride a serious contender in the main event at Aintree - after being placed on the reserves’ list.

Earlier in the week, trainer Evan Williams had revealed that James Bowen, the younger son of horse trainer Peter Bowen of Little Newcastle, would ride Secret Reprieve, after regular jockey Adam Wedge had been ruled out through injury.

Wedge missed the Cheltenham Festival after sustaining a fracture to his T12 vertebrae when falling from Hoi Polloi at Newbury on March 11, and the injury had not healed sufficiently for him to take the Aintree ride on the Welsh National winner.

James Bowen, now aged 20, had famously became the youngest jockey to win the Welsh National when guiding Raz De Maree to victory in 2018 at the age of 16, and he has ridden Shantou Flyer and Outlander in the last two Grand National races.

Williams said: “James has won on him before, and has been riding bits and bobs for me since Adam’s been off, it made sense to have someone who has ridden him before. 

“I like to stick by the lads that are good to me when my main boys are off and thankfully he was available and happy to ride the horse.”

Bowen had ridden Secret Reprieve to victory in Chepstow’s Welsh National Trial in early December, and the 7 year-old was as short as 10-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair to win the National.

Yet, he was still rated too low to force his way into the 40-runner line-up and needed at least two horses to come out by 1pm on Friday for him and first reserve Some Neck, a 33-1 shot, to take part.

“We’ve had a lot worse news regarding horses, we knew there was a chance that would happen so there’s no point worrying about things we can’t control,” said the Llancarfan trainer.

“He’s safe and sound and that’s always the main thing. He’ll go home with Mr and Mrs Rucker now and we’ll think about next year. We took a punt about getting in the Grand National, but that’s just the way it is.

“The great thing about missing out on getting into the National is they dropped him 2lb for anywhere we want to go next year, so every cloud has a silver lining.

“I’m certainly not worried, he’s a young horse, and fingers crossed he’ll have his day again in the sun somewhere down the line.

“He’s gone and won a Welsh National this year, and it was only his sixth start over fences – he’s had a mighty season and we can look forward to having next year with him.”

Despite missing out on a crack at the world’s greatest steeplechase this year, James Bowen did ride at Aintree on Saturday, in the 6.10 Weatherbys Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race, guiding the Nicky Henderson trained Mot a Mot to 17th place.

And there was to be no dream triumph for Sean Bowen in this year’s Grand National either as Give Me A Copper, co-owned by Manchester United icon sir Alex Ferguson, was slow out, and always towards the rear of the field, before being pulled up before the 29th fence, two jumps out, without making an impact.