‘He is the cleverest horse’: Grand National provides fairytale result for British connections

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  • The Randox Grand National result for the 2023 renewal of the race was one for the record books today (15 April), when Corach Rambler won under Derek Fox for trainer Lucinda Russell. The trainer and jockey won this race in 2017 with One For Arthur.

    “I can’t believe it to be honest,” said Derek, who was only recently passed fit to ride after a bad fall at Wetherby on 6 April, injuring his shoulder in the process. “He’s a phenomenal horse and has been so lucky for me. He jumped and travelled brilliantly – he is the cleverest horse and he won so easily.” 

    Indeed, Corach Rambler, a nine-year-old owned by The Ramblers, won by two-and-a-quarter lengths, coming from off the pace as he usually does, and never looked like he was going to be beaten on the run-in.

    “This is very special,” said Lucinda. “We know him so well and he loved everything about the race. I knew he would stay and he’s so intelligent.

    “To be honest, I knew he would win when he jumped the last. We’re a small team and we’re like a family and it’s what the team do at home do that makes this possible. Derek is a fabulous jockey and he knows Corach so well.”

    Corach Rambler had a great preparation for this year’s Grand National, which was his first attempt at jumping around the National fences. He won the Ultimata Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last time out, building on his success in the same race 12 months previously. The gelding, by Jeremy, was well handicapped for the Grand National carrying just 10st5lb, which was one of the lowest allocated weights in the race.

    Remarkably, Corach Rambler cost his owners just £17,000, but he has now clocked almost £700,000 in prize money.

    “It’s a dream – when is someone going to pinch me and wake me up?” said one of the syndicate owners. “Every night since Cheltenham I’ve had this dream running through my head and it’s come true.”

    Continuing with the Grand National result, 20/1 shot the grey gelding Vanillier finished second under Sean Flanagan for trainer Gavin Cromwell and owner Mrs H M Keaveney.

    Another grey, the well-fancied Gaillard Du Mesnil, who was ridden by Paul Townend, was third for trainer Willie Mullins and owner Mrs J Donnelly.

    Defending champion Noble Yeats finished a very creditable fourth under Sean Bowen for trainer Emmett Mullins and owner Robert Waley-Cohen.

    Just after 4.50pm a peaceful protest against the running of the Grand National became no longer peaceful when some protestors broke on to the track at the far end of the course near the Foinavon fence. The race ultimately went off approximately 15 minutes late after police, security and residents local to Aintree got the situation under control and cleared the track. 

    Hill Sixteen sustained fatal injuries after a fall at the first fence. Cape Gentleman, who was pulled up, and Recite A Prayer, who fell at the first, have both been taken via horse ambulance to a veterinary facility for further assessment. The remaining 36 horses in the race all returned safely. At the time of publishing, Racing TV reported that jockey Jonathan Burke had been taken to hospital for further assessment following a fall from Sam Brown at The Chair.

    Read the full Grand National report in the 20 April issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

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