Grand National 2024: Lucinda Russell bids to make history with Corach Rambler

Lucinda Russell has admitted winning the Aintree Grand National is “incredibly addictive” as she bids to become the most successful female trainer in the race’s history.

The Kinross-based handler won the world’s greatest steeplechase for a second time in 2023 when Corach Rambler triumphed at Aintree, six years after One For Arthur crossed the line first in 2017.

And with the Randox Grand National forefront in mind, Russell admits she would love to eclipse former trainer Jenny Pitman’s two victories in the race with Corbiere in 1983 and Royal Athlete in 1995.

Corach Rambler has been rated 159 and given a weight of 11st 2lb as he bids to retain his crown, and Russell admitted: “I’d say that’s in line with our expectations.”

She added: “Winning the National is incredibly addictive. When you win it the first time it’s fabulous, when you win it the second time you want three and you think ‘we can do it again’! It’s obsessive!”

Russell’s 10-year-old is ridden at home by her partner and assistant trainer, the eight-time champion jump jockey Peter Scudamore.

Scudamore said: “We’re very, very happy with him. We just take it each day at a time. He seems to be enjoying his work.

“He clearly enjoys Aintree. He seems to come together this time of year too.”

Corach Rambler won the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in March 2023 before going on to win the National the following month.

Since his moment in the sun last year, the gelding has finished fifth of six at Kelso in October and third of four in the Grade One Betfair Chase at Haydock Park just four weeks later. In the run-up to this year’s Grand National he finished third behind Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March 2024.

Lucinda Russell said after his run in the Gold Cup: I’m absolutely over the moon. If you’d said to me I’d be third in the Gold Cup I wouldn’t have believed you. On Tuesday we weren’t going to run, but I don’t want to run him ever, ever, ever. I just want to pat him and look after him, but he’s a racehorse and he loves his job. Yesterday evening I said to Scu what are we going to do and he said ‘it’s going to be safe, and so long as it’s safe he’ll be fine’, and he’s run his socks off. 

“At the top of the hill I thought he was a little further back than usual, but as he came down the hill and round that corner I just thought ‘could he do it again’. Maybe if the ground had been a bit better I don’t know. All I know is that I’m delighted with him. To be third in the Gold Cup is fantastic and I can’t get over how much people here appreciate him.

“He’s just lovely. He’s the horse of a lifetime. It’s the perfect Grand National trial and I’m so proud of him.”


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