Grand National celebrated in Bannow-Ballymitty

By Dan Walsh

Corach Rambler (8/1) made history at Aintree today with a two and a quarter lengths success in the Grand National, and while it is correctly credited as a Scottish victory from Lucinda Russell’s stables, it is also a major celebration in the Bannow-Ballymitty area of south Co. Wexford.

Corach Rambler, who is named after a well-known local soccer team by the River Corach, was bred by local breeder Paul Hillis, who is a partner with three Scottish enthusiasts in a winning syndicate known as The Rambler and appeared on the winners’ podium after the great race where his excitement was a bit emotional, but palpable.

SEAN FLANAGAN… runner-up in the Aintree Grand National.

Corach Rambler succeeded in the world’s toughest steeplechase to a great reception and wearing the favourites tag, but the runner-up also had a Wexford connection. Vanillier was ridden by Sean Flanagan from Robinstown, New Ross.

Corach Rambler, who has won the long distance chase at the last two Cheltenham Festivals (2022 and 2023), was handled by John Martin Walsh, Scar Stables, Duncormick, and ridden by Sean Staples when winning his point-to-point at Monksgrange on September 27th 2020. He was subsequently sold to Michael Scudamore for £17,000.

This was a Grand National double for trainer Lucinda Russell and Sligo-born jockey Derek Fox. Last time they won the great race was with One For Arthur (14/1) in 2017, who won his point-to-point at Lingstown, Tomhaggard, when owned by Patrick Redmond, Ashtown Park Hotel, Gorey, handled by Liam Kenny at Craanford and ridden by Barry O’Neill, and sold soon after that victory.

The success of Corach Rambler and One For Arthur augurs well for the quality of staying chasers emerging from the breeders and handlers on the point-to-point scene in Co. Wexford.

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