One For Arthur Takes Top Spot in 2017 Grand National
This year’s Grand National was won by the second Scottish-trained horse in the event’s 169-year history. One For Arthur started the race with 14-1 odds, beating his closest competitor by four and a half lengths and coming out on top out of a field of forty horses and riders.
The event is held every year at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England, and is the most famous steeplechase in the country. The Grand National is a hugely popular English event, with the festival covering three full days. Even those who do not normally follow horse racing or eventing will turn out in support.
It can be a dangerous event, with eighty horses and one jockey having died on the course since its beginnings in the late 1840s. Thankfully, there have been no deaths at the Grand National, equine or human, since 2012.
The Irish-bred One For Arthur, named for famous brewer Arthur Guinness, is an 8-year-old gelding owned by Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson, who humorously call themselves “Two Golf Widows.” Trained by Lucinda Russelland and Peter Scudamore, and ridden by jockey Derek Fox, One For Arthur had an enthusiastic team behind him. Fox had only just recovered from a fractured wrist one month before, and still managed to complete the course without incident.
Blaklion was the favorite to win, at 8-1 odds, but ended up finishing in fourth place after Cause of Causes and Saint Are in second and third. Nineteen of the contenders managed to finish the notoriously difficult track, and this year was one of the safest in the event’s history with all forty of the horses and riders making it back safe and sound in spite of several falls.
Three of the horses fell, Vicente and Cocktails At Dawn falling at the first fence of the course and The Young Master going down at the sixth. Raz De Maree, Thunder And Roses, and Saphir Du Rheu unseated their riders in the first half of the race, while Measureofmydreams and Ucello Conti unseated their jockeys in the later half. The rest of the thirteen racers were pulled up at different points throughout the course.
After a beautiful sunny day at the races, One For Arthur and his team will still be soaking up their success. It’s safe to say that throughout Scotland and Ireland, lovers of UK horse racing continue to celebrate One For Arthur’s maiden Grand National victory.