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Fox given green light to ride Grand National favourite Corach Rambler

Derek Fox will not miss the ride on Corach Rambler in the Randox Grand National, despite potentially breaching whip guidelines at Newcastle on Tuesday, the British Horseracing Authority has said.

Corach Rambler provided Fox and trainer Lucinda Russell with a second victory in the Aintree spectacular last season, with the pair having also successfully combined with One For Arthur in 2017.

Following an excellent effort in defeat when third in the Cheltenham Gold Cup two weeks ago, Corach Rambler is the clear favourite to successfully defend his crown on Merseyside on April 13 – and despite speculation to the contrary, Fox looks set to be in the plate once more.

Reports on Thursday suggested the Sligo-born jockey could be in trouble with the Whip Review Committee following his winning ride aboard the Russell-trained Clovis Boy at Newcastle on Tuesday.

However, while the BHA confirmed the ride was being reviewed, and a penalty may yet therefore follow, any potential suspension will not kick in until the week after the National.

The BHA does not normally comment regarding which riders may or may not have been referred, but has done so on this occasion, stating: “Given the speculation in the media in this instance, and the potential ramifications for the public betting on this race, we felt it would be helpful to clarify the situation.”

A BHA spokesperson said: “The WRC today considered a ride by Mr Fox at Newcastle on Tuesday. Upon reviewing the ride, the WRC had further questions for Mr Fox and have written to him today to seek his observations, as is outlined in the protocols and procedures around WRC meetings.

“As a result, Mr Fox’s case will be considered by the WRC on Tuesday, April 2. Any potential penalty arising from this ride, therefore, will not come into effect until Tuesday, April 16.”

Corach Rambler is currently the 4-1 favourite for National glory with William Hill, who report he has been incredibly popular with punters.

Spokesperson Lee Phelps said: “Corach Rambler’s run in the Gold Cup looked a perfect prep for his defence of the Grand National, and our customers agree as he has been absolutely hammered in the betting since the run at Cheltenham.

“He wasn’t a bad result prior to that, but the weight of money in the last couple of weeks has been so significant that he’d be the worst ante-post result this century. At this stage, we would take anything to beat him, but the way the money is going suggests he’s going to be incredibly hard to beat.”

Coral have also cut him to the same price from 5-1 after strong support, with David Stevens commenting: “Corach Rambler was 12-1 for a repeat National success prior to his Gold Cup run, and 8-1 immediately after that Cheltenham placing, so punters have plenty of confidence in the Lucinda Russell-trained star joining an elite group of dual Aintree winners next month.”

Sky News
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