Aintree Festival 2023: Corach Rambler cruises home in the Grand National

Corach Rambler put the seal on a thrilling 2023 Aintree Festival with a stylish victory in the Grand National on Saturday.

The start of the race was delayed by protesters, with police later confirming they made 118 arrests for both ‘criminal damage and public nuisance offences’.

More than half the field failed to finish the long-distance race, handing further ammunition to the people who want to see the event scrapped.

However, there were no dramas for Corach Rambler, who was delivered with a well-timed run by jockey Derek Fox to power clear in the run-in.

Fox and Scottish trainer Lucinda Russell were winning the National for the second time having secured victory with One For Arthur six years ago.

Vanillier was a fast finishing second, Gaillard Du Mesnil claimed third and last year’s winner Noble Yeats was fourth.

Corach Rambler was bought for just £17,000 in November 2020 and has since gone on to win the Ultima Chase at the Cheltenham Festival for the last two years.

Grand National final result

1 – Corach Rambler

2 – Vanillier

3 – Gaillard Du Mesnil

4 – Noble Yeats

5 – The Big Dog

6 – Born By The Sea

7 – Roi Mage

8 – Mister Coffey

9 – A Wave Of The Sea

10 – Le Milos

11 – Our Power

12 – Enjoy D’Allen

13 – Fortescue

14 – Carefully Selected

15 – Minella Trump

16 – Francky Du Berlais

17 – Ain’t That A Shame

F – The Big Breakaway

F – Hill Sixteen

F – Fury Road

F – Sam Brown

UR – Lifetime Ambition

UR – Gabbys Cross

UR – Longhouse Poet

UR – Recite A Prayer

UR – Galvin

UR – Delta Work

UR – Darasso

UR – Mr Incredible

UR – Eva’s Oskar

UR – Diol Ker

UR – Cloudy Glen

PU – Dunboyne

PU – Cape Gentleman

PU – Coko Beach

PU – Velvet Elvis

PU – Any Second Now

PU – Capodanno

PU – Back On The Lash

Henderson stars light up the Aintree Festival

Top British trainer Nicky Henderson was out of luck in the National, with long-team leader Mister Coffey finishing eighth after leading for most of the race.

Henderson has never won the big one at Aintree, but must have thought he was about to break his duck with the way the eight-year-old ran.

Mister Coffey will be aimed at the race again next year and he could be tough to pass if Henderson can eke out a little more improvement.

Despite missing out on National glory, the Seven Barrows handler did not leave Aintree empty-handed, with three of his stable stars winning big races at the three-day meeting.

Shishkin set the ball rolling in the Aintree Bowl, although he gave his supporters an almighty fright after being upped to three miles for the first time.

He took time to warm to his task, but ran on impressively between the final two fences before overhauling Ahoy Senor on the run-in.

A crack at the King George VI chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day could now be on the agenda, while next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup may also be a target.

While Shishkin had to work quite hard for his victory, the same could not be said about Constitution Hill in the Aintree Hurdle.

He led from start to finish, and could have won by a wider margin than the official three lengths winning distance if jockey Nico de Boinville had pushed the button.

The sky is the limit for the six-year-old, with Henderson considering schooling him over fences before deciding which route to take next season.

Nothing in the hurdling ranks can get close to Constitution Hill, which makes staying over smaller obstacles a tempting proposition.

However, the lure of sending the horse chasing could also be tough to resist, particularly with a place in the record books up for grabs.

Many pundits believe Constitution Hill has the talent to emulate Dawn Run, who is the only horse in history to complete the Champion Hurdle/Gold Cup double at Cheltenham.

Henderson secured his third victory at Aintree as Jonbon cruised to an easy win in the EFT Systems Maghull Novices’ Chase.

The seven-year-old pulled away smartly around the final bend under jockey Aidan Coleman to seal a hugely impressive 43-length victory.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls got his name on the scoresheet as Pic D’Orhy produced a stylish display in the Marsh Chase.

Harry Cobden’s mount moved ahead of the field between the final two fences and soon powered clear of his toiling rivals.

Prolific Irish trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott were quieter than usual, winning just three races from the 42 runners they saddled between them at Aintree.

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