LUCINDA Russell has admitted winning the Randox Grand National is “incredibly addictive” as she bids to become the most successful female trainer in the race’s history.

Speaking after discovering that 2023 winner Corach Rambler has been rated 159 and given a weight of 11st 2lb as he bids to retain his crown, Russell admitted: “I’d say that’s in line with our expectations.

“We’re sort of prepping him for the National but the Gold Cup comes first. He’s doing plenty of work at the moment and then we’ll back off with a couple of weeks left.

“Winning the National is incredibly addictive. When you win it the first time it’s fabulous, when you win it the second time you want three and you think ‘we can do it again’! It’s obsessive!”

Peter Scudamore said: “We’re very, very happy with him. We just take it each day at a time. He seems to be enjoying his work – I thought he ran a good race at Haydock.

“He clearly enjoys Aintree. He seems to come together this time of year too.”

He went on: “I remember Rough Quest did it (ran in both). Miinnehoma did it. The Gold Cup is a furlong further than the Ultima so I don’t see it being an issue.

“The timing is right. I don’t think if he runs in the Gold Cup that he’d be having a harder race than he did in the Ultima (last year). We had a pattern to work from last year and we’ve tried to stick to it. I think sometimes it’s easier to run well in a conditions race than it is in a top handicap off a high weight."

Gary Moore is “looking forward” to first-ever National runner Nassalam

The West Sussex-based trainer has never had a runner in the world’s greatest steeplechase, but that could be about to change if connections of the Welsh Grand National winner go through with their plans to run at Aintree.

Nassalam won the Welsh National by an astonishing 34 lengths and Moore said: “I’d have liked him to be given a bit less (weight) but it could be worse.

“I did send in an email stating my facts, that while he did win very, very well nothing has come out of the race (the Welsh Grand National) and won since and he’d want to be winning that race if you were even thinking of entering him in the National.

“He overachieved and they underachieved - that’s my thinking. But I guess you need to be that high to get in!

“I’ve never had a Grand National runner before and I’m actually looking forward to training a horse for it. It’s another thing and I’m looking forward to it.

“He had a little break and now we’re starting to try to bring him along slowly. He probably won’t need the ground to be really heavy over four and a half miles.”

Jockey Caoilin Quinn partnered Nassalam to victory on to occasions at Chepstow this season and over the National fences at Aintree in November last year.

Asked if he would give him the ride in April, he said: “I would do. I think it’s important. He had a go round Aintree over those fences last year.”

Sam Waley-Cohen hails "genius" Emmet Mullins as Noble Yeats bids to emulate Red Rum

Randox Grand National-winning jockey Sam Waley-Cohen has heaped praise on “genius” trainer Emmet Mullins as Noble Yeats bids to become the first horse since Red Rum to regain the Aintree crown.

He said: “Emmet Mullins is rightly called out as a genius and I think if anyone can do it then Emmet can.

“The plan is still to run him at Cheltenham and then at Aintree. He’s obviously got a liking for the course at Aintree and he’s in good form. Everyone likes a nice weight but we’ll see if he can do it again.”

Asked if he still thinks about his emotional day in the saddle two years ago, Waley-Cohen said: “In many ways it still feels like yesterday and feels fresh in the memory. It was such a great day. It’s just great to see him running with such enthusiasm and showing what he can do.

“We always get excited weeks before the Grand National so it’s such a privilege to have a horse like him. It’s so hard to have a horse in these races so I’d say we’re already excited and by the time the day arrives everyone will be nearly boiling over!

“It’ll just be a great family day. My kids will come up and my parents will be there. It’ll be great.”

Asked for his verdict on the weight given to his stable star, trainer Emmet Mullins added: “I suppose with a horse like Noble Yeats he always runs his race.

“He’s never going to have much up his sleeve with the handicapper so we can’t complain with our weight and fingers crossed he’ll show up on the day and run another cracking race.

“He ran a cracking race off 166 last year so if we get him back in the same shape he might get into a place again. He’s had two goes at the course before and he enjoys it there.”

Referring to his next outing at Cheltenham, Mullins continued: “He should be bang there for the Stayers’ Hurdle with a good each way chance and fingers crossed he runs his race in that as well.”