Scotland has secured only its second ever winner in the Grand National after 14-1 shot One For Arthur claimed victory.
Ridden by Derek Fox, the Lucinda Russell-trained runner galloped on resolutely to keep Cause Of Causes at bay and clinch the world’s greatest steeplechase, emulating Rubstic in 1979.
Fox, who only returned to action from injury earlier in the week, said: “It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe it. He just jumped so well, even though he was a long way back. He never missed a fence, within reason. He was unbelievable.
“I was lucky to get back in time - I want to thank Jack Berry House. Without them I wouldn’t have got back in time and I wouldn’t have been as fit as I am.”
One for Arthur was trained at Russell’s stable near Kinrossand is jointly owned by Belinda McClung, from the Borders, and Deborah Thomson, who lives in East Lothian, known as the Two Golf Widows.
Thomson said: “I just can’t believe it. It’s been an absolutely amazing day. Arthur just cruised that race, Derek rode so well and I’m just a bit lost for words really.
“I just can’t believe we’ve won the Grand National - it’s fantastic.
“He’s given us a fantastic journey.”
McClung added: “I thought this morning, it’s baking hot so there’s no pressure now, he’s not going to win on that ground but I have to say he’s just shown his class today.
“He’s amazing and he got a great ride.”
Fox, who took over as stable jockey at Russell’s yard following the retirement of Peter Buchanan, had been in the saddle for One For Arthur’s other two wins this season, with the pair impressing in the Classic Chase at Warwick in January.
But the young rider had been sidelined by injury since suffering a fall at Carlisle on March 9, before successfully winning his race against time to be fit for Aintree.
Reflecting further on his success, he said: “The only concern I had was that he might be a bit slow for the first mile and might end up too far back. It’s tricky to win a National from far back, but he jumped so well.
“After he went one circuit I felt I couldn’t be going as well as I was because I was close enough to the leaders.
“I kept him wide as he was making two or three lengths at every fence. I was getting closer and closer and I thought I was maybe going to get there too soon. For a brief moment I took a pull. I couldn’t resist it.
“He’s the gamest horse I’ve ever ridden and he galloped all the way to the line.
“Thanks to Lucinda and Scu for keeping me on him. I hadn’t had many rides back. It’s unbelievable. It’s a better feeling than I thought it would be. I was so determined to get back.
“I’ve had a great partnership with the horse all year. He’s obviously an improving horse. I was very lucky to get the ride in the first place.
“I can’t believe it.”