It may be a bit premature to credit Lucinda Russell with the title of Scotland's greatest-ever race horse trainer, however there is no doubt that her success to date has been remarkable by any standard in the modern history of horse racing in Britain.

As proud as she may be of her Scottish heritage and success as a trainer based in Scotland, the drive and ambition of this remarkable equestrienne far out-stretches the Scottish Border.The fact that she had just saddled her second Grand National winner within six years since her last, surely said it all.

Older readers and historians of the race industry will immediately be drawn to the success of the late Kenneth Oliver, the Borders trainer who saddled more than 1000 winners over a 50-year period.

Born in 1914, his training record followed a career as a successful amateur jockey during which time he rode to victory his own £350 purchase, Sanvina, in the 1950 Scottish Grand National, before taking out a trainer's licence three years later.

He wasn't without his own success at Aintree, however the best placings he could achieve were a succession of seconds in 1958 with Moidore's Token and again in 1959 and 1962 with Windburgh, bred by his wife, Rhona, who was also assistant trainer at their Hassendean yard, near Hawick.

During his career, he saddled five Scottish Grand National winners and maintained the tradition as a Border Reiver with regular sorties south of the Border where his victories were many and his training expertise revered.

Born into farming and the family auctioneering business of Andrew Oliver and Son – founded in Hawick in 1817 – Ken progressed from the office to the auctioneer's rostrum where he would become a well-known figure within the livestock world.

He was a fox-hunting man through and through, and supported the local Border packs. With an eye for purchasing a good horse this led to the idea of staging a horse sale at Kelso in 1937, an event which would be a feature on the Scottish equestrian calendar during the next 50 years.

The spring and autumn Kelso Horse Sales hold a special personal memory for me and many more of my generation who learned more about equines there than standing by the side of a show ring. It was along with his great friend and Yorkshire race horse trainer, Willie Stephenson, that Ken resurrected the Doncaster Bloodstock sales in 1962.

Have no doubt, Ken Oliver was a real character and well-known personality whose interests were not restricted to racing. As a director of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, he did much to expand the light horse section and, surprisingly enough, breathed new life in the flower show, which had fallen on difficult times (More difficult times were to follow as it no longer exists.)

Interestingly, in 1997, he was awarded the OBE for his services to agriculture.

During his zenith as racehorse trainer, Ken was undoubtedly Scotland's most successful, achieving 56 winners on no fewer than three occasions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Returning to Lucinda Russell, this season alone she has saddled 71 winners and 883 in total since taking out her trainer's licence in 1995. It surely can't be long now before she exceeds Ken Oliver's 1000-plus total to claim his crown – if there was currently any doubt that it's hers already.

Lucinda also has an OBE, an honour bestowed in the 2018 Birthday Honours List for her services to horse racing. Also, unlike Ken Oliver with his diverse interests, financial and otherwise, horses and horse racing is her sole focus, although I'm sure she'd be quick to include her partner, Peter Scudamore, the whole team at Arlary Stables and dogs.

In a recent interview with Racing TV's Nick Luck, it was fairly obvious that there was much more to this blossoming racing legend, who admitted to coming across as very laid back.

Equally, she admits to being very driven, acknowledging the desire to be a player on the British horse racing scene and all the while proud of her Scottish routes with responsibility to represent Scottish horse racing to the general public.

Comment after comment during the interview demonstrated, for me at least, an awareness of considerable intellect, with regular references to more than a nodding familiarity to psychology which she studied at St Andrew's University.

I have no doubt that Lucinda is in control of her destiny as she navigates the way in which both the minds of horses and people work.

While her endearing charm comes from a self-effacing character which is epitomised by a quiet, understated, likeable demeanour, her work ethic and drive to succeed reflects that of her father, Peter Russell, a highly successful businessman in the drinks industry whose family's Ian Macleod Distillers, include brands such as Isle of Skye Malt Whisky and Edinburgh Gin.

Arguably, Lucinda's greatest enthusiast, he backed his daughter’s training career and was part-owner of the highly successful Ahoy Senor – sadly Peter passed away earlier this year only weeks before his much-loved gelding posted a win at Cheltenham.

Lucinda saw the drive in her father in a very successful business career as a model to which she could aspire and witnessed business done on trust, agreements made with a hand shake, old-fashioned values such as loyalty and, importantly developing relationships with other people.

She likes to think that her business follows these principles and explains why Derek Fox rides the Grand National horses and not other high profile jockeys. She expects all the young jockeys to work hard but loyalty to them is one of their rewards – based on the same ideals set by her father.

While she absorbed the work ethic that she saw in her father, her mother, while supportive, is very artistic, something to which Lucinda makes no claim. However, she did recognise in her mother a love of animals, a quality for which she is most grateful.

Needless to say it was her mother who encouraged her early love of ponies, although it was aged 10 that her parents relented and bought her one.

From then, there was no stopping her and eventing eventually became her chosen equestrian sport with training the odd point-to-pointer a bit of a side-line.

While relatively successful in the former, Lucinda found training Thoroughbreds somewhat easier and more successful so moved her interests in that direction and began earnestly in 1995 with nine horses and an accompanying group of 'horsey' owners mainly from the hunting field with the odd breeder thrown in for good measure.

By 2012, with 20 horses in the yard, she had her first Grade 1 winner when Brindisi Breeze won the Albert Bartlett, at Cheltenham. With a taste of victory at this level and the attention of the racing press, potential owners, many with a sporting background of some kind, started to come forward and slowly her racing adventure really began.

Initially, she had a thirst of numbers and around 2014/5 they had more than 100 horses and recorded the highest number of winners by any Scottish trainer. Nevertheless, victories at Group 1 level soon became the ambition as circumstances changed for Lucinda and her Arlary Stables.

The change came with the arrival of Peter Scudamore (Scu), whose jockey-son, Tom, had ridden for Lucinda. With a similar love for horses and racing laced with the key ingredients of ambition and keen work ethic, their friendship and eventual partnership was inevitable with the operations at Arlary and satellite nearby yard at Kilduff set to step up a gear.

Eight times champion 'jump' jockey from a very famous racing family, Scu brought with him an extensive knowledge of the sport gleaned as a jockey for Martin Pipe, who revolutionised the training of National Hunt horses and with Nigel Twiston-Davies as assistant trainer of two Grand National winners in his time with him.

It is little wonder that Scu received a MBE for his services to racing. According to Lucinda his arrival at Arlary 'had taken the training up a level due to his extensive knowledge of the industry and his professionalism within the sport' and attributed their happiness together as 'a key factor in the intensity they can bring to training race horses.'

Winning the Grand National in 2017 with One for Arthur was an obvious land-mark for the partnership and it was then that she and Scu realised that they wanted more of that at the highest level.

For this, they required better horses and more clients with a thirst to win at this level with them as individuals, partnerships or syndicates. To this end, they stepped up the quality of horses bought at sales, with France the target for two-year-olds. Currently, they have around 85 horses in training.

Lucinda's technique of training focuses on the horse with turn-out every day to allow them to be horses. With a high level of veterinary care and welfare top of the agenda, she treats horses as athletes to get them into shape.

With a stiff gallop available, Arlary is the base where basic fitness is achieved, while horses are moved to Kilduff for a week before and a week after racing to enjoy exercise round the fields where Lucinda always takes the lead.

While Lucinda takes charge of the schooling, it is Scu who leads the training over jumps for both horses and jockeys with whom he has a great rapport.

Currently, there's an exciting atmosphere in the air at Arlary Stables as witnessed when an enthusiastic crowd of more than 500 well-wishers gathered to welcome home Corach Rambler the day after his historic victory in the Randox Grand National.

The morning was not just about this remarkable horse but equally about the strong and loyal team which surrounded his success, something that both Scu and Lucinda are always keen to express.

As for a final quote from Lucinda: "Winning is never easy – you have to appreciate it." In Corach Rambler, a bargain buy at the sales for just £17,000, with three victories at Cheltenham and two at Aintree to his credit, his seven-strong ‘Ramblers’ partnership had much to appreciate.