Scottish Grand National History in the offing?
Scottish Grand National history could potentially be made if Vicente is first past the post at Ayr on Saturday.
Having won the 2 previous encounters of this event the very likeable 9yo is looking to emulate Couvrefue II who won the run in 1911, 1912 and 1913. The only difference being that the race in the days was ran at the now long gone Bogside racecourse which closed in 1965.
Paul Nicholls obviously rates Vicente’s chances highly as he withdrew the horse from the Grand National last week when it was guaranteed a run.
Although the course was forced to abandon the flat meeting earlier this week it is drying out. This should suit Vicente and with him almost guaranteed to get round here he looks a good bet for a place at least. Currently available around 10/1 but shortening up at some bookmakers now could be the time to get on.
Trevor Hemmings is in the great position of having 2 horses vying to be favourite for the Scottish Grand National.
Vintage Clouds comes here off the back of a good run in the Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham. Vicente pulled up in that race. Also there are numerous horse appearing here that ran in that race.
Obviously Cheltenham and Ayr are totally different types of courses and also the going on that day was heavy and I would anticipate the going on Saturday to be soft. Vintage Clouds to me is a horse who is consistent but rarely get his head in front. In 12 races over fences he has won 1 race. Incredibly he has been in the frame on 7 of the other 11 though so he is another who with a clear round I would anticipate filling a place. He is currently available generally at 10/1.
Scottish Grand National Contenders?
As of today (19th April) there are still 33 runners declared for the Scottish Grand National. I would expect most of the declared runners that ran in the Grand National last week that are declared to swerve this race.
I like the look of Sizing Tennessee. Colin Tizzard sends this horse over and it will be his first run at Ayr. He is another horse who ran a fine race at Cheltenham. There he came 3rd in the Amateur Challenge Cup despite losing a shoe. He loves to front run as well which is an advantage in a race like this as it keeps you away from any potential trouble. My only slight concern is whether he will be spooked by the size of the field. The largest field he has previously ran with over fences is 16. This horse is generally available at 20/1.
My final contender is the Alan King horse Label Des Obeaux. This horse has previously won at Ayr. Since then his form has been a little patchy but he has been running in high grade races. He ran a very creditable 6th in the Skybet Chase. If he can reproduce that form and off a lower weight that puts him right in the mix. Currently available at 20/1.
Scottish Grand National Tip
My Scottish Grand National Tip is SIZING TENNESSEE e/w (4 places 1/4 odds)
Generally available at 20/1.