One For Arthur gave Scotland only its second ever win in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree today (8 April) for trainer Lucinda Russell.
The eight-year-gelding — who was featured in H&H’s Grand National preview (6 April) — was given a confident ride by Derek Fox to beat recent Cheltenham Festival victor Cause Of Causes into second.
The last Scottish-trained horse to win the Grand National was Rubstic in 1979.
Lucinda Russell, who trains near Kinross in Scotland, became only the fourth female trainer to win the world’s most famous steeplechase.
“I am so proud of the horse. He jumped fantastically and I thought Derek gave him a great ride. He has done us proud, he has done Scotland proud and he has done everyone at the yard proud.
“I always say that it’s fine, I am the figurehead and I am saying what is going on, but actually it is everyone back home who have done so much, from the farrier to our vet. We have got a fantastic team behind us and it is great — long may it continue,” said Lucinda, who also credited her partner Peter Scudamore for the success.
“Peter is wearing his dad’s tie, so that has brought us some luck. I am delighted for the team and, without him [Peter], I couldn’t do it.”
The winning jockey — who was enjoying his first ride in the famous race — had only returned to race-riding earlier in the week following an injury. He credited rehabilitation centre Jack Berry House for helping him get back into the saddle so quickly.
Describing the feeling of crossing the line in front, he said: “It’s a dream come true. Not everyone can be champion jockey but this race just gives a standard jockey like me a chance to shine on the big stage.
“I’m not quite sure just what I’ve achieved yet but all I can say is that it’s an amazing feeling. I was so lucky on the way round — everything didn’t go smoothly. He went through gaps, jumped around horses and got bumped and bashed but just kept going.”
Talking about his recent injury he added: “I’d like to thank Jack Berry House for getting me back after the injury a few weeks ago. I fractured my wrist and dislocated my shoulder. I asked the doctor if I’d be able to ride in the National — he smiled at me and said ‘well at least it’s a race that you’re unlikely to fall off in!’
“I hadn’t sat on a horse for three weeks so for Lucinda and ‘Scu’ [Peter Scudamore] to put me on and keep the faith in me. It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had — I can’t describe it.
The 14-1 shot is owned by the Two Golf Widows — aka schoolfriends Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson.
“We decided to have a horse together and that is when we found Arthur. We didn’t realise we had just bought such an amazing horse, but he has given us such a wonderful journey.
“The husbands are here today — they were not going to miss out!” said Deborah.
All 40 horses returned home in one piece with 19 combinations completing the race.
Watch the 2017 Randox Health Grand National in full
1st One For Arthur (Derek Fox)
2nd Cause Of Causes (Jamie Codd)
3rd Saint Are (Davy Russell)
4th Blaklion (Noel Fehily)
5th Gas Line Boy (Robbie Dunne)