Hopes of a Grand National victory for racehorse owner and veteran businessman John Cotton have come to naught.
Gold Present, owned by the chairman of Mirfield -based bedding manufacturer John Cotton, has been withdrawn from the field of 40 runners by trainer Nicky Henderson.
Bookmakers were giving odds of about 25-1 on Gold Present winning the world’s most famous steeplechase which takes place on Saturday at Aintree.
Gold Cup-winning jockey Nico de Boinville had been slated to take the reins.
Now Gold Present makes way for Road to Riches, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies with his son Sam on board, as the 40th horse in the field. There are a further four reserves that can still compete if any more runners pull out before 1pm tomorrow (FRI).
Mr Cotton had a runner called Mon Parrain in the 2015 Grand National.
Mr Cotton, who is in his 70s, only became an owner after turning 60 – despite having followed the sport for many years and attending meetings at York, Cheltenham and Ascot. He has racehorses stabled at Malton, North Yorkshire, and in France.
The company founded in 1916 by his father is among Kirklees’ biggest employers with hundreds of people working at its headquarters at Nunbrook Mills, Huddersfield Road. It provides products that go into making mattresses, upholstery, insulation, footwear and clothing as well as supplying pillows and duvets under brand names including Slumberdown and Snuggledown to major national retailers.