2023 Grand National winner Corach Rambler has officially retired this season. The 10-year-old Aintree and Cheltenham Festival veteran ran his final race at Punchestown Gold Cup.

After claiming glory in the Cheltenham Ultima twice and snagging that ever-renowned National win last year, among many other racecourse successes, his departure from the racing stage marks a bittersweet moment.

Trainer Lucinda Russell said the decision was “a joyous one” but was also “laced with sadness” as both she and his Ramblers owners had longer-term plans for his racing career.

Although he wasn’t able to win the Grand National this year, Corach Rambler has nevertheless been an impressive horse to watch. Let’s take a look back at his storied career, recapping both the lows and the highs.

Not an “Equine Millionaire”

Corach Rambler was pretty unique in the world of thoroughbred racehorses because unlike most of them, he was purchased for a mere £17,000.

Following a series of entries in Irish point to point races, he was bought by The Ramblers in 2020 before making his proper debut at the Ayr Novices Hurdle in January 2021.

Showing impressive staying form despite the heavy ground – he took the win by three lengths – Russell made the switch to preparing for steeplechasing.

His chase debut would come in September 2021 at Perth, where he finished in an impressive third place just behind veteran Donald McCain’s Minella Trump.

The gelding may not have been sold for an eye-watering price tag, but as Russell once stated, he had a knack for beating “equine millionaires”. Winning a total of seven out of his 18 races, he brought in total prize money of more than £750,000.

As the statement on the Arlary House Stables website so eloquently puts it, Corach Rambler has been the “horse of a lifetime for his seven-strong syndicate of owners who won the greatest steeplechase in the world.”

The Highest Highs

Speaking of that steeplechase, Corach Rambler would deliver a stand-out victory at the 2023 event, but not before several notable successes at the blue ribbon of jumps racing, the Cheltenham Festival.

He won his first Ultima Handicap Chase in 2022, beating Gericault Roque and Oscar Elite with ease. A year later, while preparing for his National attempt, the Scottish-trained racehorse was once again entered for the Grade 3 contest and claimed his second victory in the race.

In addition to becoming the fourth dual winner of the race, the double win marked his place as the second horse in history to hold consecutive wins; the first was Scott Lane way back in 1983.

Following such an exceptional start to the 2023 season, a strong performance at the Grand National was a given.

However, he exceeded all expectations when he jumped into the lead after clearing the final fence with long-term jockey Derek Fox astride, beating 2022 defending champion Noble Yeats, who went on to finish in fourth place, Gaillard Du Mesnil and Vaniller.

It was a remarkably assured win, especially given how disrupted the 2023 edition of the event was following multiple protests by Animal Rising activists.

The Gold Cup and Grand National Display

Following a busy year, 2024 got off to an easier start for Russell’s stellar gelding and he was lightly raced for the first few months of the season.

Coming in off the back of a respectable fourth place in the Coral Gold Cup and Newbury, Corach Rambler was entered for the Cheltenham Gold Cup – the most prestigious steeplechase in the global racing calendar.

Partnered once more by Derek Fox, he performed incredibly well despite the soft ground up the hill, finishing just behind Gerri Colombe and the back-to-back winner, Galopin Des Champs.

Finishing to a “rapturous reception” often reserved for course champions, the Gold Cup was, by all accounts, a highly successful prep for what would come just a few weeks later at Aintree.

On April 5th, 2024, Corach Rambler would attempt to become the second horse after Tiger Roll to win consecutive titles at the Grand National since Red Rum’s iconic run during the 1970s.

Entering the race as a 7-1 favourite, the stage was set for a back-to-back win. However, it simply wasn’t to be as he pulled up at the first in a shocking turn of events, unseating Fox in the process.