The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Thunder-ous National win for Russell
Mighty Thunder provided Milnathort trainer Lucinda Russell with victory in yesterday’s Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Trained by Russell and her partner Peter Scudamore, Mighty Thunder was an 8-1 chance for his latest National assignment after winning the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh and finishing second in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter on his last two starts.
Rounding the home turn, it looked like Sandy Thomson could saddle the first two home, with 7-1 favourite Dingo Dollar and his stablemate The Ferry Master clear at the head of affairs.
However, Mighty Thunder responded to jockey Tom Scudamore’s urgings to close the gap and reeled in Dingo Dollar on the run-in to land a popular success by threequarters of a length.
Irish raider Mister Fogpatches beat The Ferry Master to third place.
Mighty Thunder is the first home-trained winner of Scotland’s most famous jumps race since Merigo in 2012.
Russell said: “I’m delighted for the horse and his owners. It’s mixed emotions because it’s sad for Blair Campbell missing the ride due to injury, as he has kind of produced the horse, but these things happen and it’s fantastic Tom could ride and keep it in the family.
“This is the horse’s first season over fences. He’s such a laid-back horse during a race, you can come with a late run at the end He’s just made for these long-distance races really.”
The victory comes just nine days after Ahoy Senor claimed Grade One glory at Aintree for the team.
Russell has also won the Grand National with One For Arthur in 2017 and hopes Magic Thunder could be a contender at Aintree next year.