(CNN)It's an unlikely love story that took an unheralded horse from a stable on a Welsh slag heap to arguably the world's most famous jump race -- and his unconventional owners from the remote Welsh Valleys to the big screen of the Sundance Film Festival.
Love story between horse and villagers hits the big screen
1 of 7
2 of 7
3 of 7
4 of 7
5 of 7
6 of 7
7 of 7
Not a bad return for a small-time syndicate whose interest was piqued by a poster pinned up in the bar of a working men's club in a recession-hit mining village a decade ago -- and an animal with Hollywood good looks who was almost put down after suffering a serious injury.
"It said on an A4 sheet of paper, 'To breed a horse to get on a course. From there anything is a bonus,''" Howard Davies, part-owner of former Grand National entrant Dream Alliance, told CNN ahead of Saturday's marquee event at Aintree.
"I had three pints in my hand and Jan Vokes (the bar tender) said, 'You used to have a racehorse, I'm going to breed one.' I said, 'good luck,' and sat down.
"She came over and said, 'I'm serious. We need your knowledge of how to set up a syndicate and manage it.'"