Grand National - At The Races

One For Arthur claims Grand National glory for Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox

    One For Arthur stayed on best of them all to give Scotland only its second ever winner in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.
  • Saturday 08 April 2017
  • News

One For Arthur stayed on best of them all to give Scotland only its second ever winner in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

Despite jumping into Blaklion at the second-last fence, the 14-1 shot was spring-heeled at the final obstacle of the extended four-and-a-quarter-mile test.

Responding to everything asked of him by Derek Fox, the Lucinda Russell-trained runner galloped on resolutely to keep Cause Of Causes at bay and clinch the world's greatest steeplechase, emulating Rubstic in 1979.

Fox, who only returned to action from injury earlier in the week, said: "It's unbelievable. I can't believe it. He just jumped so well, even though he was a long way back. He never missed a fence, within reason. He was unbelievable.

"I was lucky to get back in time - I want to thank Jack Berry House. Without them I wouldn't have got back in time and I wouldn't have been as fit as I am."

Russell, whose partner and assistant is former champion jockey Peter Scudamore, said: "What a day! We have a fantastic team behind us and I'm just so pleased.

"He's amazing. He's improved very time. I kept thinking barring accidents, he would win the National and he has!

"Together (Peter and I) we have had good and bad times but the horses are all back in form now.

"It's brilliant for Scotland. I said it's for Scotland, but it's really for the team and the yard.

"It's out of this world."

Russell was becoming the fourth woman to train the National winner after Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams and Sue Smith, and went on: "It means everything. It's just incredible. I'm so proud of the horse. He jumped fantastic and Derek gave him a great ride.

"He's done us proud, he's done Scotland proud and he's done everyone at the yard proud.

"For a horse like that and a jockey like that what could be better? It's great to get these horses that finish strongly and I knew he would stay. It was a bit bold to say that, but we were right.

"It was funny, but everything has just gone so smoothly including winning the race.

"It is really dreamlike, but it's brilliant. We've got a fantastic team behind us and it's just great.

"I'm delighted Scu wore his dad's tie today. Without him I couldn't do it."

Scudamore, who never managed to win the National as a jockey but whose father Michael did in 1959 aboard Oxo, said: "It's very satisfying. The horse looked well in the paddock. I felt we'd done everything we possibly could to get this horse here.

"I was worried about the ground. If you had said to me an hour before the race you can take him home now as the ground is too fast I would have put him in the lorry.

"It's lovely to give Derek the opportunity. He's a good horseman. Jack Berry House got him back. This is a great advert for them. They must be as delighted as I am that he's won.

"It's great thrill. I've got my dad's lucky tie on. I don't usually believe in those things, but there's obviously something in it."

One For Arthur is owned by the Two Golf Widows, aka Deborah Thomson and Belinda McClung, a steward at Kelso.

Thomson said: "I just can't believe it. It's been an absolutely amazing day. Arthur just cruised that race, Derek rode so well and I'm just a bit lost for words really.

"I just can't believe we've won the Grand National - it's fantastic."

McClung added: "I thought this morning, it's baking hot so there's no pressure now, he's not going to win on that ground but I have to say he's just shown his class today.

"He's amazing and he got a great ride.

"Our husbands play golf together hence the name and we wanted something to do. The plan was conceived after a lot of gin at Kelso one day!"