NEWS

One For Arthur wins Grand National

April 10, 2017

The Grand National produced its usual share of thrills, spills and drama as One For Arthur was first past the winning post at Aintree on Saturday (April 8th).

While the sight of Irish-trained horses winning in this quintessentially English steeplechase is common, this was the first victory by a horse trained in Scotland since Rubistic in 1979 and only the second ever out of the 170 races run.

The 14-1 shot was ridden by Derek Fox and trained by Lucinda Russell, finishing clear of second-placed Cause Of Causes and Saint Are. For the jockey, this was some triumph after he suffered a broken wrist and dislocated collarbone in a fall just over a month ago.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live Fox said: "It's the best feeling I've ever had. He's just such a brave horse. It's a sign of a true racehorse to win the Grand National. It's unbelievable.

"I was injured on 9th March, I got a heavy fall on the novice chase and that was four weeks ago on Thursday.

"This is the best feeling I have ever had or probably ever will have and I want to take most of it in. I don't often get a chance to ride a horse as good as that."

As well as being an unusual Scottish victory, it was also just the fourth time the winning horse had been trained by a woman. Lucinda Russell, partner of veteran jockey Peter Scudamore, follows in the footsteps of Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams and Sue Smith.

Discussing the horse's form, she remarked: "He's amazing, he's improved every time. I kept thinking barring accidents, he would win the National and he has."

The Kinross-based horse is also jointly owned by two women, Deborah Thomson and Belinda McClung, who go under the nickname 'the Golf Widows' after taking up training to fill their time when their husbands were out on the course. Now, it seems, their other halves have become the horseracing widowers.

There were certainly accidents aplenty as the race had two false starts and 21 of the 40 runners failed to finish, most notably the pre-race favourite Definitely Red. He was pulled up at the Canal Turn, with jockey Danny Cook revealing that a saddle slippage after an awkward landing had forced them out of the race.

However, stewards were able to report that all the runners came back safely, with the horses being hosed down after the race due to the warm conditions.

With all the drama of a big race day to enjoy, many of those who went to Aintree or were excited by watching the events unfold on television might be keen to enjoy a big day out with hospitality at Royal Ascot in June. It should also be a great chance to enjoy some summer weather, after racegoers at the Grand National were blessed with unusually warm spring sunshine.

Other big racing events coming up include the Epsom Derby, which takes place at the start of June, and is to flat racing what the Grand National is to the steeplechase.

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