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    Corach Rambler is retiring in top-form
Corach Rambler is retiring in top-form
Corach Rambler. Source: The Mirror

Corach Rambler is retiring in top-form

Corach Rambler is a bay-colored male horse with an irregular white marking on his face. He was bred at Wellingtonbridge in Ireland by Paul Hillis. Corach Rambler's sire, a horse named Jeremy, has sired several successful National Hunt racehorses, including Our Conor. His dam, Heart N Hope, raced four times in Irish bumper races but did not win.

Corach Rambler. Source: The Guardian
Corach Rambler. Source: The Guardian

Triumphant Career

In 2019 and 2020, Corach Rambler had five starts in Irish point-to-point races, which are amateur steeplechase events. He was trained by John Martin Walsh during this time. Corach Rambler won his final point-to-point race at Monskgrange in September 2020. After this, he was sold for £17,000 to trainer Russell at the Goffs November sales. Russell then sold one share in Corach Rambler back to his original breeder, Paul Hillis, and advertised six additional shares online. This formed a syndicate of owners called "The Ramblers", with each share costing around £3,000.

 Corach Rambler made his debut in a three-mile novice hurdle race at Ayr in January 2021, winning by three lengths despite the heavy ground conditions. He then won two more novice hurdle races, including one at Carlisle. Corach Rambler then transitioned to steeplechasing, finishing third in his chase debut at Perth in September 2021 behind a horse he would later beat in the Grand National.

The following month, Corach Rambler won his first steeplechase at Aintree, despite racing with an awkward head carriage. He followed this up with another victory in a novice chase at Cheltenham in December 2021. After finishing fourth in the Classic Chase at Warwick, Corach Rambler was the favourite for the Reynoldstown Novices' Chase at Ascot but failed to complete the race after unseating his rider.

However, Corach Rambler was able to redeem himself at the Cheltenham Festival, winning the Ultima Handicap Chase by nearly three lengths. This was the first Cheltenham Festival win for jockey Derek Fox.

 After a seven-month break, Corach Rambler made his return in October 2022, finishing fifth in a listed chase at Carlisle. The following month, he ran in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury, finishing a close fourth from off the pace.

In his next outing, Corach Rambler attempted to win the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham for a second time. Sent off as the favourite, he again came from off the pace to hit the front, but idled late and just held on to win by a head.

Corach Rambler then headed to the 2023 Grand National, where he was officially "well-in" on the handicap. Ridden more prominently this time, he took the lead and won the famous race by over two lengths, giving jockey Derek Fox and trainer Lucinda Russell their second Grand National victory.

At the 2023 Cheltenham Festival, Corach Rambler finished third in the Gold Cup. His final two runs did not go as well - he unseated his rider at the first fence in the 2024 Grand National, and was pulled up in his last race, the Punchestown Gold Cup, which his trainer felt may have been due to the experience at Aintree unsettling him.

Corach Rambler was then retired two weeks after his Punchestown run, with his connections wanting him to go out on top while in excellent physical condition to enjoy a happy retirement.

Corach Rambler was a hugely successful and popular racehorse, winning 7 of his 18 starts and earning over £750,000 in prize money. He endeared himself to racing fans with his tenacious running style, which was on full display when he won the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in consecutive years, 2022 and 2023.

Corach Rambler then went on to win the prestigious Grand National at Aintree in 2023, ridden as always by jockey Derek Fox.

Corach Rambler. Source: The Wales Online
Corach Rambler. Source: The Wales Online

Decision was made

In announcing his retirement, Coach Rambler's trainer Lucinda Russell acknowledged the bittersweet nature of the decision. On the one hand, it was a sad farewell to a horse who had been a "horse of a lifetime" for his owners and formed a special partnership with jockey Derek Fox. He had also brought great joy to the yard's staff.

However, the decision was also a positive one, as the connections wanted Corach Rambler to retire at the top, in excellent physical condition, so that he could enjoy a long and happy retirement. Overall, the trainer expressed deep gratitude and appreciation for all that the remarkable racehorse had achieved.

 Corach Rambler had a challenging season, with a strong third-place finish behind Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup being a standout performance from his five starts. But his attempt to repeat his Grand National victory did not go well, as he unseated his rider Derek Fox at the first fence. When he was sent to Ireland for the Punchestown Gold Cup two weeks ago, he never looked comfortable.

The owners, a syndicate called The Ramblers, have decided to retire Corach Rambler despite the horse being only 10 years old. They feel they have a responsibility to the horse, who has a large public following, to do what is best for him. The owners acknowledge that the horse's run in the Grand National, where he was unseated and then knocked over, may have frightened him. They also note that the horse did not seem happy when they raced him at Punchestown.

The owners believe that the big steeplechases next season will be contested by younger horses, and they do not want to subject Corach Rambler to carrying heavy weights in handicaps. They simply could not forgive themselves if something happened to the horse.

The sole owner, Cameron Sword, speaking on behalf of the seven-member syndicate, expressed the emotions and memories associated with the horse's career, and said the decision to retire him was made with the horse's welfare as the top priority. Sword is grateful for the opportunity to own such a special horse and is glad that Corach Rambler is retiring healthy and by choice.

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