First Scots triumph since 1979
Scotland celebrates as One for Arthur wins National
One for Arthur gave Scotland a first win in the Grand National since Rubstic in 1979.
The Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore trained horse, ridden by Derek Fox in his first ride in the race, triumphed at 14/1 before an estimated 600 million worldwide television viewers.
One for Arthur is owned by Deborah Thomson, of Gullane, East Lothian, and Belinda McClung, a steward at Kelso, who bought the horse three years ago.
They will share a first prize of £561,300. The runner up gets £211,100 while third place earns £105,500.
After the win Mrs 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.”
Mrs McClung added: “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!”
The horse, stabled at Kinross, beat Cause of Causes, priced at 16/1, while Saint Are was third at 25/1. Fourth was Blaklion, the 8/1 joint favourite. Gas Line Boy 50/1 was fifth. Some bookmakers paid out on fifth place. Definitly Red, the strongly fancied joint favourite, was pulled up at the ninth fence.
One For Arthur came into the race strongly supported after an impressive victory in Warwick’s Classic Chase in January.
Russell, the daughter of a whisky boss, is Scotland’s top jumps trainer and has had three previous National runners.
All three completed the course but Silver By Nature’s 12th place behind Ballabriggs in 2011 was the best of the trio.
Since 2009/10 she has trained more than 500 winners from her Kinross yard, including nine graded winners.
Last week she announced a sponsorship deal with Edinburgh Gin, now owned by Broxburn-based Ian MacLeod Distillers.
Russell has already tasted Cheltenham Festival glory with Brindisi Breeze and now joints an elite list of female National-winning trainers along with Jenny Pitman (twice), Venetia Williams and Sue Smith.
“What a day! We have a fantastic team behind us and I’m just so pleased,” she said.
“He’s amazing. He’s improved very time. I kept thinking barring accidents, he would win the National and he has!
“Right at the beginning when we bought this horse we asked the owners did they want to win the Gold Cup and the National and we all agreed on the National.
“When Derek got injured we lost a big part of our yard because we’re all a team, we really missed him.
“There was never a doubt he wouldn’t ride the horse as long as he was fit enough.
“He’s very cool, he’s only 24 but he has all the right attributes. Sometimes he gets criticised for being too far back but that’s how he likes to ride them.
“He won’t run again this season, I’m hoping Kelso will put an open handicap on in October then it will be the Becher and back to Warwick I’d imagine.”
The Scudamore family have a long association with the Grand National. Peter’s father Michael rode Oxo to victory in 1959.
All 40 horses returned safely after today’s race and Aintree introduced new cooling down procedures.
The winning jockey 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.”
The world’s top five richest horse races are all flat races:
- Dubai World Cup (UAE) – £7.99million
- Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe (France) – £4.4million
- Breeders Cup Classic (US) – £4million
- Melbourne Cup (Australia) – £3.77million
- Kentucky Derby (US) – £1.6million