LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - One For Arthur, ridden by Derek Fox, won the English Grand National, the world’s greatest steeplechase, with a stunning late burst from the final fence at a sun-drenched Aintree on Saturday.
The 14-1 winner, 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 is only the second Scottish-trained winner of the race, 38 years since Rubstic last achieved the feat.
Cause of Causes, 16-1, finished second with Saint Are, 25-1, and 8-1 pre-race favourite Blaklion third and fourth respectively.
The 24-year-old Irishman Fox rode superbly on his debut in the race, having only returned to competitive riding this week after suffering a broken wrist and collarbone in a fall on March 9, to claim the biggest win of his career.
”It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had,“ Fox told the BBC. ”He’s just such a brave horse. A sign of a true race horse to win the Grand National. It’s unbelievable.
”I got a heavy fall in the novice chase and that was four weeks ago on Thursday.
“This is the best feeling I have ever had or probably ever will have. I don’t often get a chance to ride a horse as good as that.”
After two false starts, the 40 horses finally set off on the 30-fence, four-and-a-half mile marathon and with just two obstacles to clear, Blaklion came to the front and looked the likely winner.
Yet One For Arthur and Cause Of Causes began to forge ahead and after taking the last more convincingly, Fox used the momentum to push his mount clear down the home straight.
“That was amazing, I‘m tearful but it is amazing,” Russell, whose partner and assistant at their Arlary House Stables in the Kinross countryside, is former champion jockey Peter Scudamore.
“It’s total credit to Derek, he never panicked. I have just won the National!”
Perhaps the most heartening news of all was Aintree’s announcement afterwards that all 40 horses had returned safely to the ‘cool down’ area shortly after the race.
Reporting by Tom Hayward; Editing by Ian Chadband