Corach Rambler gearing up for Kelso comeback
Grand National hero Corach Rambler is likely to begin the new season at Kelso in late October, says trainer Lucinda Russell.
The three-and-a-quarter-mile Edinburgh Gin Chase at the Borders track on October 28th is being touted as a starting point for a horse with Cheltenham Gold Cup aspirations this season.
Stepping out of handicaps the aim
Russell is plotting a campaign culminating in the Cheltenham Gold Cup for the progressive nine-year-old, who in April gave her a second triumph in six years in the Aintree showpiece.
Her previous Grand National winner, One For Arthur, won this Kelso race in 2016 and it makes a logical starting point for a horse that now deserves his chance in more esteemed company.
“Having won the Grand National and back-to-back runnings of the Ultima Handicap Chase, the plan is for Corach Rambler to step out of handicap company this season in the hope that he can develop into a Cheltenham Gold Cup contender,” Russell said.
“An early-season target we have in mind is the Betfair Chase at Haydock. We’d probably look to get a run into him beforehand and the Edinburgh Gin Chase at Kelso is a race that will certainly come into consideration.”
A race the yard knows well
The Edinburgh Gin Chase was won by the smart Sounds Russian last season and carries prize-money of £50,000 this year.
Russell is set to train in conjunction with Michael Scudamore this year and she points to previous success in the Kelso contest as positives.
“It would fit in perfectly from a timing perspective and is a race we love to support, having won it with One For Arthur back in 2016. Michael [Scudamore], who is set to join me on the licence, has also won it twice in the last four years so it is a race the yard has a bit of history in,” she told the Racing Post.
Ahoy Senor to get tuned up for Newbury
Another star name in Russell’s care is Ahoy Senor, winner of the Cotswold Chase in January at Cheltenham before falling when still leading in the Gold Cup at the Festival in the Cotswolds in March.
He signed off his season with a good second behind Shishkin in the Aintree Bowl and is likely to have one spin over hurdles before bidding for glory in of the most prestigious British handicap chases of the season.
“His early-season aim is the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and he could have a run before then, which may be over hurdles or fences at Wetherby,” said Scotland’s leading National Hunt trainer.