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Lucinda Russell would rather drier conditions for Corach Rambler's Grand National defence

Lucinda Russell is hoping for a break in the wet weather ahead of Corach Rambler's bid for back-to-back victories in the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday week.

The 10-year-old provided the Scottish trainer and her stable jockey Derek Fox with their second victory in the world’s most famous steeplechase last spring, having previously successfully combined with One For Arthur in 2017.

Corach Rambler made an inauspicious start to the current campaign at Kelso in October, but performed better in Haydock’s Betfair Chase the following month and made an excellent return from a winter break when third behind reigning champion Galopin Des Champs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Russell has been delighted with how her pride and joy has recovered from his Festival exertions, but admits the prospect of running in testing conditions on Merseyside is a concern.

"Time seems to be passing very quickly since Cheltenham, but everything has been going according to plan," she said.

"He’s now back in full work, he was working today actually, and we’ll get him wound up for the National. Everything is looking good, I just wish it would slightly stop raining at Aintree.

"I don’t think anyone would want a really heavy-ground Grand National, so hopefully it won’t be too testing, it does drain well here."

Corach Rambler is set to lead a small but select Russell team into battle at Aintree, with Ahoy Senor poised to run at the Grand National meeting for the fourth year in succession.

The nine-year-old was a shock 66-1 winner of the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle in 2021 and returned to Liverpool to claim another top-level success in the following season’s Mildmay Novices’ Chase.

Last term, Ahoy Senor had to make do with the silver medal behind

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