Aintree 2019, One For Arthur Sixth In The Grand National

A marvellous effort from One For Arthur to be sixth in the Grand National has lifted the yard and confirms that when met with challenges we can pull together and make the best of our horses. 

Racing is an incredible sport, encompassing the love of horses, the true spirit of sport and providing all the emotions along the way. On Friday we hit the depths, when, having jumped around the Topham course faultlessly and with Derek sitting motionless about to make his move, Forest Des Aigles dislocated his fetlock and was pulled up. The catastrophic injury that he incurred was untreatable and he was quickly put to sleep. 

I normally keep this website for news rather than a blog or emotion, but I must make an exception today. In those few minutes, my spirit was shattered and it was hard to control my grief. It is not a person, a child nor relation, but to go from the elation of thinking that we could win to the stark realisation of death was almost too much to bear. I am in such a privileged position to nurture wonderful horses, athletes who give their all and to do so for owners who are proper, strong, supportive friends. The team here provide joy and delight for so many and yet on Friday we crashed their world down with the loss of a kind talented horse owned by a racing family who are in the sport for the horse. The loss to everyone, none more so than Patrick, Forest's rider at home, and the team here who have nurtured Forest to produce him at the peak of his physical well being, was almost unbearable.

It took a strong ethic for everyone connected with the yard to face the next day. Yet, we had prepared Arthur as well as we could; his road to this year's race has had its potholes and bumps but, faced with problems we have pulled together, worked harder and I am so proud of the condition that Arthur is in. Jumping with enthusiasm and accuracy he was given a masterful ride by Derek who said that the slower early pace, followed by the quicker second lap was less than ideal for our stayer. However, as they came back over the Melling Road the last time, we were hopeful of a close finish as Arthur stormed around the field into fifth place at the last. From then on he stayed on at one pace to be sixth, given a considerate ride by Derek who knew that Arthur was still trying his hardest.

For all connected to Arthur, Debs, Belinda, Colin and Fraser his wonderful owners, to Derek and the full team here, thank you for giving me and so many of our followers exceptional memories, but really it is to all of the horses here that we owe our thanks; they are the reason that I train, and it is the challenges, the victories and the satisfaction that we are doing the best that make it so life affirming.

Pictured is what it means to lead back in your warrior after the National; Jaimie and One For Arthur


Comments (11)

  • Clare Poole

    The highs and lows of the sport - thoughts with all connections of Forest and so much Love for Arthur - he really is one in a million - great result Team Russell xx #oneforarthur #lovehim #thoroughbredlyversatile

    Apr 07, 2019 @ 1:11pm
  • Pat James

    So beautifully and movingly written, Lucinda. We cried with you all on Friday and cheered with you all on Saturday. You have to gather in and ride on, through the tough as well as the great days. Well done to a wonderful team.

    Apr 07, 2019 @ 1:16pm
  • Ed Mercer

    Wonderfully and so eloquently put, Lucinda.

    Apr 07, 2019 @ 2:06pm

    Facing the next day must have been horrendous for you all. You all coped like professionals and Arthur showed his talent and strength in finishing 6th. I'm sure Forest was up there looking down "neighing" Arthur on ! Well done team and owners. 🙂

    Apr 07, 2019 @ 3:41pm
  • Judy Roe

    I am so, so sorry for you about Forest, really sad, but one knows he had a fabulous, caring team looking after him. I would be hopeless in that situation, but I love NH racing and must take the highs with the lows. Brilliant Arthur, just shows how brilliantly he has been trained and cared for.❤️

    Apr 07, 2019 @ 5:41pm
  • Charlotte Jackson

    Forgive the familiarity but, Lucinda, what wonderful, heartfelt words. With animals and racing in particular they so beautifully express the highs and lows of being close to these extraordinarily trusting and tactile animals and the enormous responsibility for them we feel. Arthur did wonderfully well and you must all be so proud of him. Many congratulations.

    Apr 07, 2019 @ 8:15pm
  • Archie Nicol


    Apr 07, 2019 @ 8:17pm
  • Jon Dunning

    Heartfelt sympathies to you, the Anderson Greens & all the stable staff associated with Forest Des Aigles.

    While it cannot compare to those close to that smashing gelding, I was greatly saddened by the loss of an old friend, who first came to my attention at Ayr, towards the end of 2016. I don't wish to sound mercenary, by I'm just a punter, so please bear with me. He carried the JD millions when 3rd at Kelso the following March, but these were recouped, with significant interest, given his 5 wins in his next 7 starts. Needless to say, I was on again on Friday, and was under the impression he had them all covered coming to the last.

    With regard to One For Arthur, I only really latched onto your 2017 National winner when he stayed on so well for 5th in the 2016 Becher 'Chase. I've been at this game for 35 years, & I can't remember any horse winning consecutive races at 100/7 both times, as Arthur did at Warwick and in the National. Still not mercenary, but very lucrative, thank you kindly, Ms. Russell.

    I couldn't bring myself to back him this year, but considered an offer of 5/4 about him completing a right insult, & they paid for their cheek!

    Indeed, 3 out I thought he might win again, but was delighted to see another old pal come home safely, having performed with great credit.

    Keep up your fabulous work!

    Kindest regards,

    Apr 08, 2019 @ 12:34am
  • Morten Buskop

    We are so happy and proud to be associated and have our horse (BIALCO) in training with you Lucinda & Scu. Your words here Lucinda pretty much raps up the reason why! 😘

    Apr 08, 2019 @ 7:32am
  • John McSharry

    One For Arthur ran a wonderful race to finish 6th, given the less than ideal preparation, was all the more commendable. I am truly sorry for the loss of Forest Des Aigles. My thoughts are with all connected to him

    Apr 08, 2019 @ 5:10pm
  • David Brown

    As a follower of your yard and this blog for so many years I cannot begin to imagine the grief you all shared after Fridays events. You had made no secret that Forest had been targeted at the Topham from the start of the season and see him going from running such a massive race to what eventually transpired in a matter of strides must have been such a hammer blow for everyone.
    I was chuffed to bits with Arthurs run in the National and knew it would be a gigantic fillip for the stable to see him run so well in light of the previous 24 hours.
    If there was any justice then it would rain from now until Saturday to allow Big River to swim home at Ayr on Saturday!

    Apr 08, 2019 @ 7:56pm

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