Celebrations as Grand National victor returns home

Tammy Harvey
April 12, 2017

By any standards Derek Fox's return 3½ weeks after breaking his left wrist and right collar bone in a fall at Carlisle, was quick but, as he drove out One For Arthur up the run-in at the end of Saturday's Randox Health Grand National, you would never have known.

His 16-1 rival claimed second, with 25-1 shot Saint Are third and 8-1 favourite Blaklion, who led for much of the contest, fourth.

One For Arthur, the first Randox Health Grand National victor trained in Scotland for 38 years and only the second from north of the border, will follow a carbon copy season next year when he tries to become the first back-to-back victor since Red Rum in 1974.

"I'm going to take my goggles off and throw them into the crowd because it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do", the English jockey told The Times.

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

Should Vieux Lion Rouge prevail it would see jockey Tom Scudamore emulate his grandfather Michael who won on Oxo in 1959 and achieve something his father, multi-times champion jockey Peter, failed to do.

It was the first Scottish-trained victor for 38 years and the fourth trained by a woman after Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams and, most recently, Sue Smith.

All 40 horses returned home in one piece with 19 combinations completing the race.

He's improved every time. Miss Russell is only the fourth woman to train a Grand National victor, while One For Arthur is owned by two women.

He is jointly owned by a duo known as "the golf widows", Belinda McClung from the Scottish Borders and Debs Thomson from East Lothian. "I'm 35 now, so to have it down on the CV that I've ridden in the Grand National is brilliant".

Thomson said: "I just can't believe it". It's been an absolutely wonderful day. Our team of number crunchers feel like they've cracked the code with Just A Par, a selection that we know will resonate with all the US Masters golf fans out there. Arthur just cruised that race, Derek rode so well and I'm just a bit lost for words really.

Thomson said: "I just can't believe it". Barry (Geraghty) said he gave him a great ride round there, but he just didn't get home. We're very lucky we've got some fantastic vets that work for us.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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