16 May 2024

Lucinda Russell announces retirement of Corach Rambler

16 May 2024

Last year’s Grand National hero Corach Rambler has been retired, trainer Lucinda Russell has announced.

The 10-year-old struck gold at Aintree in 2023 to give Russell and jockey Derek Fox their second National after One For Arthur in 2017.

He was fancied to run a big race once more in this year’s renewal after finishing third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but parted company with his rider at the first fence. He went to Punchestown after that, but was pulled up.

He was twice a winner at the Cheltenham Festival, recording back-to-back victories in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

Russell said on her website, www.lucindarussell.com: “After a lot of thought and discussion we have decided that our brilliant 2023 Grand National winner Corach Rambler is going to be retired.

“In some ways the decision is laced with sadness. Corach has been a horse of a lifetime for his seven-strong syndicate of owners who won the greatest steeplechase in the world.

“He also has had a special relationship with our jockey Derek Fox and has brought so much joy to all our staff here at Arlary.

“But the decision is also a joyous one. Corach Rambler will always be a special horse for us, we owe him so much.

“More than anything we want him to go out at the top, in excellent physical condition and able to hopefully enjoy a long and happy retirement.

“Corach has had a massive influence on the fantastic run of success we are enjoying and influx of new horses and owners to our stable. His story has resonated with both racing fans and those people who take a casual interest in the sport.

“The fact he only cost £17,000 and mixed with and beat equine millionaires gave hope to any owner and trainer that they can compete no matter what their budget.”

To some our decision will be a surprise

She added: “The first of his two wins in the Ultima Handicap Chase (in 2022) earned Derek awards for his daring last-to-first ride but even he would admit Corach was the star act.

“He will forever be remembered for his Grand National victory but it should not be forgotten that he had an excellent record at Cheltenham.

“He raced there four times and his record is three wins, two at the Festival, and a third to Galopin Des Champs in last season’s Gold Cup.

“In all he won seven of his 18 races and over £750,000. He quite literally owes us nothing – we are in his debt.”

Reflecting further, Russell said: “To some our decision will be a surprise. Corach is only 10, he could have raced on. But we feel we have a great responsibility with a horse with his public following to do the best thing for him.

“His run in the Grand National in April did not work out as we all hoped. He unseated Derek at the first fence and then was unfortunately knocked over at the next fence when running loose.

“Maybe that frightened him a bit. We have said all along that he is one of the most intelligent horses we have ever trained and he never looked happy when we ran him at Punchestown last month.”

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