The team behind Corach Rambler are hoping to give Scotland a second Grand National winner in six years with their clearly well-handicapped contender.
Six years after One For Arthur scooped the Aintree marathon – becoming only the second Scottish-trained winner – Lucinda Russell has another stellar contender for Grand National glory via dual Cheltenham Festival winner Corach Rambler.
As the Grand National at Aintree looms closer, we are taking a look at some of the contenders for Jumps racing's most recognisable prize.
|Where||Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool|
|When||5.15, Saturday 15th April 2023|
|How to watch||bet365 live Sports Streaming Service, ITV & Racing TV|
|Odds||Corach Rambler 6/1, Noble Yeats 8/1, Delta Work 12/1, Any Second Now 12/1, Longhouse Poet|
Corach Rambler is heading towards Aintree on 15th April as a 6/1 Grand National hope following his second victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last time out.
To win that tough contest in successive years requires plenty of ability and, on the back of that Cotswolds victory, he's officially 10lb 'well-in' for the Grand National.
The weights for Aintree were confirmed in February and, on the back of his Cheltenham victory, the handicapper has confirmed that if the chance existed to re-assess, Corach Rambler would be running from a mark of 156 in the race – as opposed to the current perch of 146.
As things stand, and with top weight Any Second Now a confirmed runner, he will have 10st 5lb on his back for the National and he could be set to prove himself well treated.
Lucinda Russell was the last British trainer to win the race when One For Arthur was successful in 2017 – giving Scotland just their second Aintree hero.
The Perthshire-based team of Russell and partner Peter Scudamore have serious reason to be hopeful again as they prepare Corach Rambler for his Merseyside mission.
Scudamore does, however, sound a note of caution in regards to Corach Rambler's stamina. He stays three-and-a-quarter-miles without issue, but the extra mile at Aintree remains an unknown.
"Corach Rambler has done what he's done over three miles and three-and-a-quarter, but whether he can step up and do it over four-and-a-quarter miles remains to be seen, so let's see what happens," Scudamore said.
While urging some caution, he does concede the team have taken heart from knowing they now have a horse handicapped to do well.
"It does reassure us that the handicapper and Racing Post Ratings have got him as well in. We've got to get him there in good order and hope we have a lot of luck," he added.
The Ramblers will be making their way to Aintree full of hope but safe in the knowledge that winning a Grand National will take a huge slice of raceday luck if the cards are to fall their way.
It would be quite the tale as Corach Rambler is the only horse to run in the colours of The Ramblers.
With powerhouses like Gigginstown House Stud having 12/1 Delta Work in the mix and top owner JP McManus with 12/1 Any Second Now spearheading his challenge, it would be some achievement if The Ramblers can upstage them.
They'll take heart too from the memory of Corach Rambler's sole previous visit to Aintree. That came as a novice over fences in October 2021 and saw him run out a convincing winner at the 2m5f trip on good ground.
He'll be on a different course come 15th April and jumping those famous National fences this time, but that experience of the track is a another positive for his supporters.
With a battalion of Irish contenders – they are responsible for 39 of the 57 remaining candidates, including 29 of those guaranteed a run – Corach Rambler is a major player for not just Scotland, but the British training ranks as they seek to halt a run of four successive Irish-based Grand National winners.
With the team behind him having the crucial National-winning experience on their CV, they'll be confident he can justify the pre-race hype and mount a major challenge at Aintree.