WYE Valley amateur jockey Lucy Turner followed up 2022 Cheltenham Festival victory on Chambard by riding the horse to even greater glory at Aintree on Saturday, becoming the first ever woman to ride the winner of the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences.

Trained by Venetia Williamns at her King’s Caple yard, the lesser-fancied bay shocked the 12-strong field to win at odds of 18-1, which saw the mount installed at 40-1 for the National itself.

Having ridden him to the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at last year’s festival at odds of 40-1, this time Chambard –the joint oldest in the field at 11 years old – drew clear in the home straight to win by 13L from Coko Beach.

The delighted rider described victory in the £150,000 Grade 3 race on a stamina-sapping muddy track as an ‘absolute dream’ and her “best day in racing”.

Chambard winning the Becher Chase. Video: The Jockey Club

“He’s been incredible,” she told ITV4. “I wasn’t sure if it would be too much of a stamina test for him, with the fences and the ground, but he’s been brilliant.”

The horse never looked to struggle with the conditions, jumping confidently at the head of the field alongside Laura Morgan’s Percussion.

And as the course took its toll and horses were pulled up, Chambard cleared the last in style and cantered to a record-making success for his rider and an £85,000 first prize.

Trainer Venetia, who guided Mon Mome to the 2009 Grand National and saw Royale Pagaille take the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month, said of the jockey-: “She knows that horse so well. It’s just so amazing. I’m so thrilled.”

Lucy said: “Chambard has been fantastic for me, and I am so pleased for David and Carol (Shaw, owners), who have been great supporters of mine over the last few years, so it is nice to get another big one for them.

“He hasn’t jumped these fences before, so we said we’d see how he takes to them, but that was the best spin I’ve ever had round there and he just loved it and kept galloping.

“As soon as they came to him, he quickened again. I could sort of hear the others coming, but he’s gone again, and at the last he was like a fresh horse.

“I’ve always wanted to ride a winner over these fences, so to do it on him means the world.

“It was a little bit hard going trying to see coming into the home straight with all the rain coming down and the headwind, but he was a total professional. I think he surprises people. They think, ‘can he go and do that?’ but then he shows them he can.

“This is probably the best day I’ve ever had in racing. Aintree is such a marvellous place, so to have a winner here is fantastic. April (and the Grand National) is a long way away and we will think about that when the time comes, but this is a dream.

“In the final furlong you just want to keep kicking until you are over the line, but I had a little look at the big screen and I could see we were clear.

“After the line, I was thinking, ‘has that actually just happened?’

“If I can inspire someone from the next generation by winning here today, that’s wonderful.

“Chambard is a lovely horse. He’s very laid back and always has a smile on his face, as you can see – he’s always got his teeth out – and he’s a real yard favourite.”