Notes from Cheltenham 2024 | Corach Rambler on course for National double

Grand National, Corach Rambler

As the dust settles on another Cheltenham Festival, Corach Rambler looks on course to do the Grand National double.

Falling short in the Gold Cup, Lucinda Russell’s 10yo could not make it three-in-a-row in Gloucestershire.

However, his third spot against the odds was the perfect preparation for Aintree.

Next month, the son of Jeremy defends his National crown, whilst Russell herself seeks to become just the fourth trainer in the post-war era to have three winners.

However, Corach Rambler won’t have it easy.

With just 34 runners to be whittled down from 81 and after their respective Cheltenham trips, who else staked a claim?

A Rambling favourite

With less than a month to go until the 175th running of the Grand National, Corach Rambler appears to be the favourite.

Currently a 9/2 shot to retain his crown, that goes against all the early antepost, with Vanillier’s 9lb swing over the champ.

For now, it appears a hugely impressive 14/1 Gold Cup outing behind reigning champ Galopin Des Champs and Gerri Colombe has swayed the argument.

And on paper, it might be hard to consider otherwise.

A trip a full mile shorter than his Aintree glory, his fourth outing this season was by the best. There is surely more to come.

Set to go off on April 12 a similar SP to last year, Corach Rambler is currently a healthy 6/1 favourite with William Hill.


Biding their time?

Another runner who took third at the Festival, Meetingofthewaters‘ rallying call caught the eye.

Trainer Willie Mullins may have been hoped for better in the Ultima – in amongst another dominant Cheltenham flush of winners – but a Grade 1 bow offers hope.

The gelding could be opted out and switch focus to Fairyhouse in April instead, but the relative youngster for this race could yet be given a shot.

Make no mistake, Meetingofthewaters, should he run, has the stamina to influence matters at Aintree.

For Galvin, meanwhile, after the Glenfarclas Cross Country was cancelled due to the ground, might Gordon Elliott be biding his time?

A three-time National-winning trainer with Silver Birch and more recently, the legendary Tiger Roll, Elliott could make history with number four.

Though winless since October 2022 at Punchestown, having pushed Delta Work in last year’s Glenfarclas, Galvin remains a threat.


Longer trip big shots

With the 4m2f trip to contemplate, that may just favour some of the bigger price contenders.

Kitty’s Light seems to tick that particular box.

Though lacking the form of last season, a seventh-placed finish in the Ultima was not without hope for Aintree.

The reigning Scottish National and Vertem winner, the gelding has been second at worst in his three trips of 4m and further.

The 8yo will want the ground firmer, but punters should rule out Kitty’s Light at their peril.

In the case of Hewick, meanwhile, his connections also need the weather gods to smile.

Forced to withdraw from Cheltenham’s showpiece once more, Hewick seems to have more NR of late than actual results.

But, as we saw in the King George VI, he has the heart and stays.

Of the present National starter list, just two enjoyed Cheltenham wins.

Said individuals being Shakem Up’Arry – finally getting his marquee win – and Gavin Cromwell’s Mares’ Chase winner Limerick Lace.

However, both would need to step-up in trip significantly to feature.

If punters were looking for a big price runner to back early doors, Angels Dawn could oblige.

Denied a run-in against Inothewayurthinkin, the defending champion fell at the last in the Kim Muir.

So why might Sam Curling’s 9yo feature in Liverpool?

Those who saw his run last Thursday would’ve seen a gutsy run and unless the early spring sees a drought, soft or heavy ground would favour.

If we add to that Angels Dawn placed in last year’s Irish Grand National, the extra distance for a Aintree debut seems no issue.

The Irish hopeful could contend at a punt of 66/1; the same price as a certain Noble Yeats two years back.


The 2024 Randox Grand National takes place at Aintree on Saturday 13 April at 16:00 BST.

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