Russell wants Aintree rain to relent for Corach Rambler

Everything else ‘is looking good’ for last year’s Grand National hero.

Lucinda Russell is hoping for a break in the wet weather ahead of Corach Rambler’s bid for back-to-back victories in the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday week.

The 10-year-old provided the Scottish trainer and her stable jockey Derek Fox with their second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase last spring, having previously successfully combined with One For Arthur in 2017.

Corach Rambler made an inauspicious start to the current campaign at Kelso in October, but performed better in Haydock’s Betfair Chase the following month and made an excellent return from a winter break when third behind reigning champion Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Derek Fox celebrates winning last year's Grand National on Corach Rambler
Derek Fox celebrates winning last year’s Grand National on Corach Rambler (David Davies/The Jockey Club)

Russell has been delighted with how her pride and joy has recovered from his Festival exertions, but admits the prospect of running in testing conditions on Merseyside is a concern.

“Time seems to be passing very quickly since Cheltenham, but everything has been going according to plan,” she said.

“He’s now back in full work, he was working today actually, and we’ll get him wound up for the National. Everything is looking good, I just wish it would slightly stop raining at Aintree.

“I don’t think anyone would want a really heavy-ground Grand National, so hopefully it won’t be too testing, it does drain well here.”

Corach Rambler is set to lead a small but select Russell team into battle at Aintree, with Ahoy Senor poised to run at the Grand National meeting for the fourth year in succession.

Ahoy Senor in action at Aintree
Ahoy Senor in action at Aintree (Tim Goode/PA)

The nine-year-old was a shock 66-1 winner of the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle in 2021 and returned to Liverpool to claim another top-level success in the following season’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Last term, Ahoy Senor had to make do with the silver medal behind Shishkin in the Bowl, but is poised for another crack at the same race next week after finishing sixth in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.

Russell, a William Hill ambassador, added: “He’ll go for the Bowl again and again he’s one that will be affected by the ground, he’s better on good to soft but he’s in good form.

“Giovinco might run in the three-mile novice chase (Mildmay) and we have a few nice novice hurdlers like Esprit Du Potier and a horse called Myretown, who is by the same sire as Ahoy Senor (Dylan Thomas). He’s a lovely horse and he might go for the Sefton, which is a race we like having runners in.

“I’ve always loved Aintree and it’s very much in my heart. I love Liverpool and love the people here. They look after the horses and owners so well and it’s a track I like winning at.”

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