Corach Rambler Grand National Wins
- 2023 - ridden by Derek Fox trained by Lucinda Russell
Trained by Lucinda Russell in Scotland, a woman who knows how to win a Grand National after winning it with One For Arthur in 2017, this horse has looked like the ideal type for the Aintree race for some time now.
He’s no stranger to success on the big stage either, winning at both the 2022 and 2023 Cheltenham Festivals, showcasing his credentials to win an even bigger prize. Foaled in 2014, the horse has shown his ability to stay long distances since the very start of his career, and given his point-to-point background, he was always going to be the type to make up into a chaser.
Back-to-Back Cheltenham Festival Handicap Wins
The two biggest wins of Corach Rambler’s career so far have come at the Cheltenham Festival, where he won the Ultima Handicap Chase in back-to-back years, in 2022 and 2023.
His first victory in the race was a win by just under three lengths, off a mark of 140. After that win in 2022, he did not run again and was not entered in the Grand National for that year. It’s a race that comes after the weights are released for the big one, so any horse that does well in it can run at Aintree and not have to carry any additional weight.
Twelve months later, and he was back for more in the Ultima. He would win the race again, this time by a shorter margin, winning by just a neck, but it was off a higher mark, which was 146. He would go up 10lb in the weights for that victory, but that does not count for the Grand National, as the weights were finalised before he ran, meaning the same mark of 146 will be used as his Grand National rating.
Winning a Cheltenham Festival handicap is not easy, and only the very best horses can do that, this horse hasn’t just won one, but he’s won the same contest twice, showing he is a top-class handicapper who can win at the highest level.
Corach Rambler’s Early Years
Corach Rambler began his career as an Irish point-to-point runner, where he would have two seasons and a total of five races before coming over to the UK and joining Lucinda Russell. The first season he had as a pointer was not very successful at all.
He would run three times and was pulled up on his first two starts before finishing fifth on his third and final start of that season. A few months later, at the beginning of a new season, he was back, and things went much better this time. He was second on his first start and followed that up with his first career win on his fifth point-to-point start, one that would be his last, as he would now head off for a career under rules.
On debut for Lucinda Russell, he would not only win but also show his staying power, winning a three-mile hurdle on heavy ground. A disappointing run would come next, but he bagged another win after that, his final start of the season, to end his novice hurdling campaign with two wins from three starts.
Novice chasing would come next, finishing third on debut before recording two wins, the second of which was a novice handicap chase at Cheltenham. After that, he would then go up in grade to compete at a much higher level.
2023 Grand National Winner
With a trainer and jockey who knew the Grand National and what it takes to win it after their victory in 2017 with One for Arthur, he was always fancied when going to the race and duly delivered.
He had won on the big stage before, with Cheltenham Festival wins in both 2022 and 2023, but he landed the biggest race of them all when winning the Grand National. His second Cheltenham Festival victory came after the Grand National weights were confirmed, which left him going into the race 10lb better off at the weights than he should have been, giving him an obvious chance.
From the moment he crossed the line at Cheltenham in March, he was the favourite for the Grand National. However, the day before the race, a gamble on Ain’t That A Shame saw the horse drift in the betting. Punters took advantage, and the horse was the subject of strong money just before the off, ultimately sending him off as the 8/1 favourite.
Throughout the race, Corach Rambler looked comfortable and in a good position. He started towards the front just behind the pace, then went midfield and was in an excellent jumping rhythm. As we got to the business end, the horse began to pick runners off, as others were beginning to tire, this horse was cutting through the field with style.
Two out, he was third and looking the big danger at the final fence, he took the lead and went clear. As the runners started to go up the finishing straight, there was only going to be one winner, and that was Corach Rambler. However, he did begin to wander and idle up the run in, allowing the others in behind to close on him.
The horse was always doing enough, though, winning by two and a quarter lengths from Vanillier, who finished second. While the distance wasn’t a number that gives the impression this was a comfortable win, it was far easier than the number suggests, the horse was always doing enough and never looked in any danger of losing.
To win the Grand National, you need to jump well, get a strong position, and then stay on strongly when the going gets tough. Three boxes that were well and truly ticked by Corach Rambler in 2023, winning the Grand National for Scotland and landing the win for many punters as the favourite.
Corach Rambler’s Big Race Wins
The two big career wins for Corach Rambler so far are the two Cheltenham Festival wins we’ve already mentioned. A further point to note about the first is that he won a big, competitive Cheltenham handicap as a novice, showing that he is a naturally good jumper who could jump well enough to win one of the toughest handicaps on the calendar, despite not having anywhere near as much experience as some of his rivals.
The second one was another impressive performance and was done off a much higher mark, showing that the horse had improved for another year of racing and was continuing to head in the right direction.
In 2023, the horse will make his Grand National debut.