The eight-year-old became the first Scottish-trained winner of the spectacular steeplechase since Rubstic struck gold in 1979 after producing a tremendous display under an ice-cool Derek Fox.
Russell and her partner Peter Scudamore, the eight-times champion jockey who never won the National during his illustrious career, partied long into the night back at their Kinross stables before being parading their champion in front of jubilant wellwishers.
“It still gives me goosebumps. What a fantastic day we had, it’s just amazing,” said Russell. “The horse is absolutely brilliant. We’re very lucky we’ve got some fantastic vets that work for us. One of them was up here celebrating so at 1.30am they had a quick check of him when he arrived back in the yard.
“Scu and I both woke up saying ‘I think we won the National yesterday’. It is just incredible.”
Both credited Jack Berry House, the Malton rehab centre which treated their big race jockey for collarbone and wrist fractures sustained in a heavy fall on March 9.
Run by the Injured Jockeys Fund, it compliments a similar centre in Lambourn named after the great racing writer and campaigner John Oaksey. “Talk about Oaksey and Berry, they are unsung heroes and it’s lovely Jack is part of this story,” said Scudamore whose later father, Michael, won the 1959 National on Oxo. “If Derek had not gone there straight away, he would not have made it.”