One For Arthur wins The Grand National
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 09, 2017,
Apr 09, 2017, 8:45
One For Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox, has triumphed in the 2017 Grand National at Aintree. The other was Rubstic in 1979.
The former jockey, and now partner to winning trainer Lucinda Russell, the fourth woman to win the Grand National, accumulated eight jockeys' championships as a rider.
Victor of the Classic Chase at Warwick in January, perceived wisdom said the 14-1 victor needed soft ground to be at his best and Russell and Scudamore must have been the only ones at Aintree cursing the brilliant blue skies, which had dried the ground quickly.
Tom Malone secured One For Arthur on behalf of the two women for £60,000 at the Brightwell Sales at Cheltenham in December 2013.
Sweeping around the final bend on the outside, it looked like he had just joined in and he stayed on strongly to defeat Gordon Elliott's Cheltenham Festival victor Cause Of Causes by four and a half lengths.
"I just can't believe we've won the Grand National - it's fantastic", said Thomson. He just jumped so well, even though he was a long way back...he was unbelievable. "The instructor said: "You'll never make it as a showjumper, but I can see you going over the fences at Aintree", added his mother. "He was unbelievable", said Fox.
"I was lucky to get back in time - I want to thank Jack Berry House".
"I got a heavy fall in the novice chase and that was four weeks ago on Thursday".
Russell joined Jenny Pitman - twice a victor of the race with Corbiere (1983) and Royal Athlete (1995) - Venetia Williams (Mon Mome, 2009) and Sue Smith (Auroras Encore, 2013) as women to have trained winners in the time-honoured event. I said it's for Scotland, but it's really for the team and the yard. "I kept thinking barring accidents, he would win the National and he has".
The 14-1 shot was only the second-ever Scottish-trained victor of the world's most famous steeplechase, after Rubstic in 1979.
"His name is still on the Guinness cans and people say I'll have "One For Arthur" or one for the road".
"He's very cool, he's only 24 but he has all the right attributes".
Trained in Scotland by Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore, One For Arthur beat Cause Of Causes by four and a half lengths back in second.
"I'm just starting off". It's been an absolutely incredible day.
"This is the best feeling I have ever had, or ever will have", Fox said. "He is excellent in the stables, he breaks horses in, he rides out, he is a great jockey".
Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson drank one too many gins at Kelso racecourse just over three years ago when they made a decision to seal their renewed acquaintance, having lost touch as school friends, by buying a racehorse together. The horse looked well in the paddock. It's great to get these horses that finish strongly and I knew he would stay.
"I wasn't too anxious about the ground [Good to Soft]".
"That knocked the stuffing out of us and I had to pull him up". He jumped fantastic and Derek gave him a great ride. He's a good horseman. If Jack Berry House was instrumental in rebuilding the physical, it was trainer Mark McNiff, Fox's uncle, who mended the soul. This is a great advert for them.
For them to win the biggest prize in National Hunt racing is an unbridled success.
"I'm delighted Scu wore his dad's tie today".
Given their location in Scotland, Russell and Scudamore have come up with their own unique accommodation for the big meetings.
"There's only two weekends maximum in a year he's not playing golf", said Thompson, resignedly, of her partner Colin.
"It's the best thing we've ever done!"
"We then took the dog for a walk, it's brilliant and we can highly recommend it". The stewards forwarded the matter to the British Horseracing Authority for it to be considered at a later date.