Scottish Grand National
In the middle of April the latest edition of the English Grand National has been and gone and the Irish Grand National is on the way soon. In the middle we have the staying and jumping spectacular of the Scottish version of the race to look forward to though, and here we take a look at the best odds and betting offers available and provide our betting tips for the race.
A Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase run over a trip of 4m 110yards, the contest is open to runners aged five and older. First run in 1858, and here at Ayr since 1966, the race now offers £215,000 in total prize money.
Betting Tips and Race Preview 2019
The Scottish Grand National used to be viewed as a consolation prize for connections of horses who could not get a run the week before at Aintree. It’s now viewed as a very worthwhile prize in its own right (the winner gets the best part of £125,000) with even horses who ran at Aintree included in the field for the 2019 renewal.
Vintage Clouds to Bounce Back from Aintree Disappointment
Connections of Vintage Clouds headed to Aintree in a fairly confident mood. Just a month earlier they’d watched as the impressive nine-year-old just failed to hold onto the lead in the Ultima Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival and believed that he held a genuine chance of building on that form by claiming a place or maybe even winning the Grand National.
The first hope of everybody connected with a horse running in the Grand National is that they get round safely and there was real concern for Vintage Clouds when he fell at the first fence. Thankfully he was ok but the same was not true for Up For Review who was fatally injured when brought down by Vintage Clouds.
There were many good reasons for the amount of support that Vintage Clouds got in the betting for last weekend’s race and indeed many for supporting him in the Scottish Grand National.
Sue Smith has reported no ill effects of that fall and he should enjoy the return to running on firmer ground. The tactics of the Scottish Grand National should also suit Vintage Clouds. Front runners tend to do well in the race which is more of a conventional staying chase – albeit a very long one at 4 miles – compared to the Grand National at Aintree and that’s the way Vintage Clouds ran at Cheltenham in arguably his best performance to date.
He’s 4lb better off compared to Beware The Bear than he was in the Ultima so can reverse the form with Saturday’s top weighted horse and hold off the challenge of a strong field to win at 8/1 with bet365.
Will the Irish Gamble Land?
It wouldn’t be a big handicap chase without a big gamble coming from over the Irish Sea. Irish racing fans love to support a horse trained on the Emerald Isle but sometimes the weight of money is big enough to really make you sit up and take notice. That’s the case for Crosshue Boy who has gone from a general 20/1 into a best price of 12/1 with 888Sport in a short space of time.
The money may have come in quickly but this is no last minute change of plan for Sean Doyle. He had the Scottish Grand National on his mind for his star ever since he won at this meeting last year and is more than happy with the way Crosshue Boy is shaping up ahead of his return to Ayr. His recent form is encouraging and he’s well treated with 10st 8lb to carry so an each way bet is very much in order.
Scottish Grand National Previous Winners
- 2018 – Joe Farrell – jockey Adam Wedge, trainer Rebecca Curtis
- 2017 – Vicente – jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2016 – Vicente – jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2015 – Wayward Prince – jockey Robbie Dunne, trainer Hillary Parrott
- 2014 – Al Co – jockey Jamie Moore, trainer Peter Bowen
- 2013 – Godsmejudge – jockey Wayne Hutchinson, trainer Alan King
- 2012 – Merigo – jockey Timmy Murphy, trainer Andrew Parker
- 2011 – Beshabar – jockey Paddy Brennan , trainer Tim Vaughan
- 2010 – Merigo – jockey Timmy Murphy, trainer Andrew Parker
- 2009 – Hello Bud – jockey Paddy Brennan, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 2008 – Iris de Balme – jockey Mr Charlie Huxley, trainer Sean Curran
- 2007 – Hot Weld – jockey P.J. McDonald, trainer Ferdy Murphy
Race History, Top Trainers and Record Jockeys
The forerunner to this race went by the name of the West Of Scotland Grand National and was held at Houston from 1848 to 1866. The course in those days was only three miles long, with the obstacles consisting mainly of unforgiving stone walls. Switched to Bogside in 1867, the event was given its current title in 1880. The distance was also increased to just shy of four miles during the contests time at Bogside. Switched to its current venue of Ayr in 1966, the current four mile trip was introduced and the conditions of the race have remained unchanged ever since.
There is no doubting the most illustrious name to appear on the roll of honour here. The brilliant and hugely popular triple Aintree Grand National winner, Red Rum, added this event to his impressive career haul in 1974. He remains the only horse to win both the English and Scottish Nationals in the same season.
Others have achieved the famous double during their careers though, including Music Hall, Little Polvier and Earth Summit. Aged just six at the time of his win here in 1994, Earth Summit is the youngest winner of the race in modern times.
From the young to the old, the elder statesmen on our modern list of winners came just one year later in 1995, when the 12 year old Willsford came home in front for Jenny Pitman.
Red Rum carried 11st13lbs do victory for his triumph, but that still puts him 1lb shy of the record 12st shouldered to glory by Playford in 1964.
Charlie Cunningham set the pace amongst the riders in the early years of the contest, with four wins between the years of 1881 and 1889. Since the switch to Ayr, Mark Dwyer’s record of three wins between 1984 and 1996 remains unmatched as of 2016.
Ken Oliver’s four wins at Ayr make him the leading trainer since the event was switched to its current venue. Having also won once at Bogside, Oliver’s five total wins put him in a tie for the all-time lead with Neville Crump.