Can Corach Rambler win back-to-back Grand Nationals? Meet the 2024 favourite

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  • The 2023 Grand National winner Corach Rambler is “king of the castle” at home, but what makes this horse tick and, after finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month, will he be able to join the elite few who have achieved back-t0-back wins in the great race at Aintree?

    Corach Rambler key facts

    Age: 10
    Breeding: by Jeremy out of Heart N Hope (by Fourstars Allstar)
    Jockey: Derek Fox
    Owners: The Ramblers syndicate
    Breeder/part-owner: Paul Hillis
    Trainer: Lucinda Russell

    Corach Rambler’s greatest achievements

    Won Ultima Handicap Chase, Cheltenham Festival, 2022; won Randox Grand National, Aintree, and Ultima Handicap Chase, Cheltenham Festival, 2023; third in Cheltenham Gold Cup, 2024. Winner of two further chases and two novice hurdles.

    His groom’s thoughts

    Groom Lori Walsh says: “Corach is a big character. If it’s raining, he tries to bite you before you ride him, but once he’s out of the stable he’s happier. He loves attention, he has grown in confidence and he’s now king of the castle.

    “At the races, he knows where the cameras are and he pricks his ears. But his stable is his space and he prefers to be left alone. He gets nannied up to go out in the field daily with his old companion Kez. He loves a good roll and getting covered in mud.

    “I find it nerve-racking watching him racing, but I’m glad I’m not Scu [Peter Scudamore] – he feels it more than anyone. Winning the National was insane – Corach was in his element and loved every minute.”

    His jockey’s opinion

    Jockey Derek Fox says: “Corach is very intelligent, he’s very clever at jumping and in big fields he’s good at getting out of the way. But he’s also smart enough not to do too much when you hit the front – he likes to have something to aim at. In last year’s Grand National I got in front too soon really and he idled up the run-in. I got a quick glimpse at the screen and I couldn’t see anyone coming at me, so I was able to push him out hands and heels and he won well in the end.

    “He’s a beautiful horse to work with at home – he’s ultra-friendly and quiet. It’s important that a horse has a good work rider and Scu riding him out most days makes a huge difference. It’s a privilege to have him around.”

    His trainer’s viewpoint

    Trainer Lucinda Russell says: “It was quite a military plan when we won the Grand National with One For Arthur, but Corach is a different horse and he’s kept on surprising us. He was cheaper, he was bought just after lockdown and at first I thought he was going to be no more than a point-to-pointer, so it was a bonus when he won his novice hurdles. Then he won his first chase at Aintree, where he remains unbeaten. When we first schooled him over an imitation National fence, he immediately understood how to do it. Scu adores Corach and Derek’s timing to win the National was perfect.”

    His owner’s story

    Co-owner Gary Scott of The Ramblers syndicate says: “I first saw Corach Rambler for sale on Lucinda’s website three years ago with a video of his point-to-point and I liked the way he finished so strongly. He still had three shares available and was running two days later at Ayr, so I held off, hedging my bets. He won convincingly, so I knew it was now or never. I nearly fell off my chair when Lucinda rang me the next morning. We chatted for 15 minutes and at the end she said, ‘Welcome to Lucinda Russell Racing, you have share number five.’ I was so excited and what a roller coaster it’s been.

    “Corach has such a distinctive face and I think the whole country has taken to him, he’s become a real star. Even the checkout lady at Tesco recognised me after Aintree. He’s brought us so much happiness and won far more than we could ever expect. To win the Grand National again would be really special, but just once was dreamland.”

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