The Grand National is just around the corner, and whether it be steely veterans or up-and-coming prospects, the field lining up at this year’s Grand National is tipped to be a deep and talented one.
One such thoroughbred who is expected to be there or thereabouts in the ‘race the world stops to watch’ is Corach Rambler, who, at the time of writing, is as short as 6/1 with some operators in the Grand National bet markets – which is good for favourite.
While there were plenty of fans and pundits already high on the nine-year-old prior to this month’s Cheltenham meeting, it was his triumph in the Festival’s Ultima Handicap Chase among a 23-strong field which turned the heads of the wider racing public.
The Lucinda Russell-trained horse was impressive, showing strong finishing speed up the straight to beat 7/1 shot Fastorslow by a neck. It marked his second consecutive Ultima Handicap Chase victory – and by doing so – he became just the third horse since the fixture’s inception in 1946 to reign supreme in back-to-back renewals.
Russell was full of praise for her thoroughbred, noting that he is an ‘absolutely brilliant’ horse.
“It’s a special pleasure to watch the horse enjoying himself,” she said.
“The track is so stiff but he picked up speed round the corner. It was phenomenal.
“When he hits the front he pulls himself up a bit – it’s just magic that you can have a runner here, let alone a winner. He will now go to Aintree for the National. He deserves to have a crack and that’s the next step.”
Couple his Festival successes with a triumph in the Tiggys Trust Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase in December of 2021 – and Corach Rambler has proven himself to be a Prestbury Park specialist.
Given how well he has performed on courses familiar to him, Corach Rambler’s chances in the Grand National next month look more and more promising. The Irish-bred horse was victorious in his only run at Aintree to date, finishing first past the post by two lengths from Sail Away and Landofsmiles in the Jewson St Helens Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase in October of 2021.
While it was a solid performance given where he was at that point in his career – the task that awaits him in the Grand National is much tougher.
He is expected to be up against a formidable crop of horses that includes the likes of last year’s Grand National winner Noble Yeats, National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase victor Gaillard Du Mesnil and Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase champion Delta Work to name a few.
For those who believe Corach Rambler will be upset come race day, the aforementioned Noble Yeats, Delta Work and Gaillard Du Mesnil are paying 8/1, 10/1 and 12/1 respectively. With a field of heavyweight handicappers ready to go to battle in the UK & Ireland’s most famous race – whether you’re an avid or casual fan of National Hunt racing – 2023’s renewal is shaping up as one to remember.