A maximum of 30 runners will line-up for this Saturday’s Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr as the only reserve, Full Jack, is set to take in a hurdle race at the track on Friday.
Scottish Grand National History and Trends
Without a doubt, this race is one of the sporting highlights of the Scottish sporting calendar. Four miles on the testing Ayr circuit usually takes its toll as the fences though, not the biggest in the country, are still a stiff test. First run at Houston in 1858, the race was switched to Bogside in 1867 where it remained until that track closed in 1965 – Ayr has been its home since.
The legendary Red Rum, in 1974, remains the only stayer to win both the Aintree National and Scottish Grand National in the same year but Little Polveir and Earth Summit have won both the races in different years in modern times.
- Twelve of the 16 winners since 2000 have carried less than 11st.
- Grey Abbey is the only winner since the turn of the century to carry more than 11st 3lb to victory so this is generally thought to be a race for improving stayers nearer the foot of the handicap, though six of the last 16 winners have been aged 10 or older.
- Proven stamina is a big advantage with 10 of the last 12 winners having won over at least 3m.
- Only one favourite has won in the last 12 years.
Several of this year’s renewal have been here before. Al Co (a general 33/1) won the race in 2014, when Trustan Times (a best 20/1 with Bet365) was an unlucky third, and can race off a 5lb lower mark, though it’s a while since he showed any worthwhile form. The latter won over hurdles at Kelso earlier this month and looks to have been kept back for another tilt this season. Last year’s winner Vicente is 10/1 to stage a repeat but second Alvarado (a general 33/1) is 6lb better and entitled to turn the tables
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Premier Bond still has novice status but arrives off the back of a solid third in the Kim Muir at Cheltenham. He is only 2lb higher here and can be backed at 9/1 with the sponsors. SHOTGUN PADDY was only 10th last year but has been knocking on the door in some of the top staying races again this season. He was third behind Grand National hero One For Arthur in the Classic Chase at Warwick in January and filled the same position behind Mysteree in the Eider at Newcastle. At a best 25/1, he should give supporters a run for their money granted luck in-running and several bookmakers are paying out on the first five places for each-way purposes.
Scottish Grand National Current Best Odds
Premier Bond (9/1), Southfield Royale and Vicente (10/1), Arpege D’alene (12/1), Missed Approach (14/1), Seldom Inn and Vintage Clouds (16/1), Another Hero, Sugar Baron and Trustan Times (20/1), Shotgun Paddy (25/1), Lessons In Milan (28/1), Henri Parry Morgan, Battle Of Shiloh, Dancing Shadow, Fine Rightly, Kruzhlinin, Vivaldi Collonges, Alvarado, Cogry, Dawson City, Al Co and Portrait King (33/1), Benbens (40/1), Blakemount and Straidnahanna (50/1), Firebird Flyer and Man With Van (66/1), Gone Too Far (100/1), Father Edward (150/1)