On a dramatic day on Merseyside as Animal Rising protesters delayed the start of the race by around 15 minutes, trainer Lucinda Russell – who is based in Kinross – repeated the feat of winning the Grand National six years ago with One For Arthur as her superstar horse prevailed under Derek Fox. He was sent off the clear 8/1 favourite and finished three lengths clear of Vanillier (20/1), while Gaillard Du Mesnil (10/1) was third and Noble Yeats (10/1) was fourth.
Successful at last month’s Cheltenham Festival in the Ultima Handicap Chase, the nine-year-old was kept out of trouble throughout. He jumped into the lead over the last and pulled away when passing the elbow, holding off a closing Vanillier with Gaillard Du Mesnil third and last year’s winner Noble Yeats running a gallant race under his big weight in fourth.
Russell said: “Those guys that went out to protest on the course, they think it’s about horse welfare but that horse loves the sport. He loves everything that he does. He’s kept in the best condition and I’m just so delighted that he can run in a race like that and perform like that.
“He has got greatness and it’s what he deserves. Corach Rambler, in our hearts, is just the best horse. Now in the public hearts he is as well. To win the National, I know how important it is, I know how it changed my life with (One For) Arthur – for Corach to achieve that too is just fantastic.
“It’s all about the horse, for me it’s not about the betting – though I did back him and quite a lot actually! I hope those guys who were protesting will look at our website and our Facebook posts and see how they are looked after. It is so important they understand how we care for them every inch of the way. It is about Corach, he is just amazing. He took to those fences brilliantly, he understood them, he worked them out – he loved it.”
Fox had sat out the first two days of the meeting in order to recover from injury in time to ride Corach Rambler. He said: “He is just the most wonderful thing ever, he deserved to win this. I got a fall last week and banged my shoulder, it was far from ideal. I was worried all week, I thank God I was back in time because it was the thrill of my life to ride him.
“It’s thanks to the support of Lucinda and Scu (Peter Scudamore, assistant trainer and Russell’s partner) for having the faith in me to put me up after not riding all week. I feel very lucky to be working for these great people. I think he’d the profile and he’s loads of class – I just can’t believe it.”