Grand National winner One For Arthur as good as ever reports trainer Lucinda Russell ahead of Aintree return

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LUCINDA RUSSELL believes One For Arthur still has all his old sparkle as he prepares for his first run since winning last year’s Grand National.


Thursday January 01, 1970

He’ll make his comeback from a tendon injury tomorrow in the Many Clouds Chase at the scene of his finest hour 20 months ago.


Thursday January 01, 1970

Lucinda Russell can't wait to get her National hero back on a racecourse
Lucinda Russell can’t wait to get her National hero back on a racecourse
PA:Press Association

It might not be over the world-famous Aintree fences but Russell believes this is the right race for her stable star as she plots a return to the Grand National next spring.

She said: “We had him entered in the Becher Chase but I just thought it was a big ask to go back over those fences after such a long time off.

“The key to him running was whether it was going to rain so we’re delighted the ground’s nice and soft.


Thursday January 01, 1970

“About three weeks ago he did a really good piece of work on our gallops. His work rider said ‘he’s back – our warrior is back’. That was great to hear.


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“I’m expecting him to be rusty and need this first run but it’s just good to get him back on track.”

One For Arthur looked capable of becoming an Aintree favourite until injury interrupted his career.

He’s been back in training for about four months and is expected to have a light campaign before attempting to win back his National crown.

Russell revealed: “Things have gone well with his rehab – we’ve been pleased with him.

One For Arthur landed the Grand National in 2017 before suffering a tendon injury
One For Arthur landed the Grand National in 2017 before suffering a tendon injury
Reuters

“We schooled him again on Thursday and he’s had a little session on the water treadmill. He’ll head down to Aintree on Friday.”

Derek Fox gave One For Arthur an ice-cool ride to win the National. The pair were still way back at The Canal Turn on the final circuit but they gradually picked off their rivals with some superb jumping.

A back injury will keep Fox out of the saddle tomorrow. He expects to back around Christmas so Tom Scudamore – son of Russell’s partner Peter – will stand in for the side-lined jockey.


Russell – who was awarded the OBE in the summer – trains at Kinross in Scotland just 25 miles north of Edinburgh.

Her base is not far from St Andrews and the golfing influence comes to the fore in One For Arthur.

He’s owned by friends Deborah Thomson and Belinda McClung who call themselves the ‘Golf Widows’ after their husbands spent so much time on the fairways.