Corach Rambler thriving ahead of Aintree date with destiny
Trainer Lucinda Russell could not be happier with Randox Grand National favourite Corach Rambler as he nears his date with destiny on Merseyside.
Corach Rambler won the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month for the second year running and, having done so, propelled himself to the front of the Grand National market ahead of the April 15 extravaganza.
The nine-year-old became just the fourth horse in history to win the Ultima more than once, and he will head to Aintree officially 10lb ‘well-in’ as a consequence of those exploits in the Cotswolds.
He’s off a mark of 146 for the National and will carry 10st 5lb with regular pilot Derek Fox set to be on board.
Target training going to plan
At the outset of this campaign, Russell put the Ultima and the Grand National down as the main targets for Corach Rambler.
The Edinburgh-based trainer, who operates with her partner and assistant, former champion jockey Peter Scudamore, is very pleased with how things have gone so far.
“That was the first thing and then since it has been sort of winding him up again to Aintree,” she said.
“He is a very straightforward horse to deal with in one way, but in another way, Scu rides him every day so I don’t have total control over what work he does.
“But he is just coming to himself, he looks very fit and I am very pleased with his weight and stuff and it is just a case of getting him in the right mind space now.”
No stranger to Aintree glory
Russell is the only Scottish-based trainer to have won the Grand National since Rubustic back in 1979.
She ended the wait for a winner from north of the border when One For Arthur landed the prize under Fox in 2017 and that remains the most recent British-based winner in a race that has been dominated since by the Irish raiders.
One For Arthur died last month at the age of 14 after suffering colic, and the poignancy of that is not lost on the Kinross-based trainer.
“I always say that the wins are not just for the horse’s own glory, but it is for everyone else around them. It would be lovely,” she said.
“I know that the Two Golf Widows who owned One For Arthur, they are very excited again about us having a runner in the National.
“It is just lovely, the support that we have from everyone. Arthur was funny, he really did become family and his owners are very good friends of ours now.”
Fox the perfect foil for Rambler
Big-race rider Fox has been part of the team at Russell’s yard for a long while and the trainer couldn’t be happier having him in the saddle once more heading for the Merseyside marathon.
“He is just a fantastic person. He works here in the yard, he is in here every day,” she said.
“He knows the horses inside out. He is a tremendous horseman. He really gets the horses.
“He is very strong, very fit and he has got a racing brain that during the race he doesn’t panic. I think for races like the National and races at the top level you have to have someone who doesn’t see the red mist and Derek is supremely calm about things.”