One for Arthur wins 2017 Grand National at Aintree
Apr 09 2017
The 14-1 victor, trained by Lucinda Russell, claimed the 170th running of the race with a thrilling sprint down the home stretch to prevail by four and a half lengths after a late duel with runner-up Cause Of Causes.
One For Arthur, an 8-year-old gelding by Milan, has won 7 of 19 starts and three of his last four races.
The prestigious handicap steeplechase has had its fair share of fairytales over the years since its first running in 1839 and this year's renewal proved no exception.
One For Arthur is the first Grand National victor to be trained in Scotland since 1979.
Russell is only the fourth woman to train a National victor, after Jenny Pitman, Venetia Williams, and Sue Smith.
Fox, who had never ridden in the National, bust his left wrist and right collarbone in a fall at Carlisle four weeks ago.
Meantime, One For Arthur made steady progress, threading his way through the field, taking it up at the last and prevailing from Cause Of Causes. Why did I be the champion jockey and then come back and expose myself as a trainer?'. Now both are major contenders for today's Randox Health Grand National.
He is sweet on his chances - his previous runner was 13th - and is a dream ride for Danny Cook, who Ellison says his orders to him will be "to stay calm".
"He just jumped so well, even though he was a long way back. He was unbelievable and took me everywhere".
"He's incredible. He's improved every time".
In the great tradition of the famous race, the 170th edition of the Grand National at Aintree delivered a story with many strands.
"After we gone one circuit, I was thinking "I can't be going as well as I am" as we were so near the leaders". It's great to get these horses that finish strongly and I knew he would stay.
His trainer Brian Ellison may not be a household name but he has become quite a force in the jumps game and a win in the National would give him the recognition he deserves. "I am so proud of the horse", she said.
The pair, both of whom live in Scotland and have been involved in racehorses individually over the years, are school pals who firmed up their friendship and went into ownership together to such great effect after "a few too many gins at Kelso".
"It was amusing, but everything has just gone so smoothly including winning the race".
"There's only two weekends maximum in a year he's not playing golf", said Thompson, resignedly, of her partner Colin.