Homecoming for Grand national winner

Grand National winner One For Arthur pictured with trainer Lucinda Russell at her yard near Kinross today.
Grand National winner One For Arthur pictured with trainer Lucinda Russell at her yard near Kinross today.

Grand National winner One For Arthur has returned home to a hero’s welcome.

The eight-year-old, who dramatically pushed ahead in the final furlongs to beat favourite Blaklion in Saturday’s race at Aintree, returned to his stables in Milnathort yesterday.

The horse, ridden by jockey Derek Fox, is only the second scottish racehorse to win the Grand National, the first in 1979.

Met by wellwishers at the stables, his proud trainer, Lucinda Russell, said the victory was only just sinking in.

She said: “We had a few drinks with the owners, left Aintree, drove home and went to bed – not really very exciting. However, the staff had a bit more of an exciting time and they had a big party in the Thistle which started just after the race and lasted for the next 12 hours at least.

“Straight after the race I kept thinking, ‘This is incredible, I’ve just won the Grand National’ and it doesn’t really sink in. It’s just been my ambition all the time.

She added: “He’s a fabulous horse and you only have to ride him once or twice to know he’s a real superstar.

“I think that the first time that Derek rode him this year at Kelso he came back and said, I’ve never ridden a horse like that and it’s just great for him now to win the Grand National. Very, very good horses have something about them and [One For] Arthur certainly has it.”

Lucinda is only the fourth woman to have trained a Grand National winner.

“It’s elevated my confidence that I can train to the highest level and that’s important to me. But, it’s not really about me,” she commented.

“I’m getting all of this publicity just now but in truth it’s not really about me, it’s about everyone behind you, They’re the ones that look after all these horses and do all the hard work for all of us.”