Connect with us

Horse Racing

What to expect at Scottish Grand National with 70 horses entered into £200k race

Published

on

One of the biggest highlights of the Scottish horse racing calendar, the major event is set to take place on Saturday, April 20.

And there is plenty for fans to look forward to with the racecourse set to host what will become the nation’s first ever half-a-million pound raceday.

A total of 71 horses have been entered for this year’s Coral Scottish Grand National, with the £200,000 chase, over nearly four miles, attracting 25 entries from Ireland and five home-trained hopefuls.

Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins is responsible for 10 of the Irish entries, with the Scottish contingent made up of two horses from the Lucinda Russell yard and one each from Iain Jardine, Nick Alexander and Sandy Thomson.

Russell won the race in 2021 with Mighty Thunder, and could run either, or both, from recent Edinburgh National winner Inis Oirr and last year’s sixth placed runner from Ayr, Your Own Story.

Nick Alexander has re-entered Elvis Mail, who was a late withdrawal last year on account of the ground.

Mullins is currently sitting third in the British Trainers’ Championship and an ‘Ayr raid’ could be on the cards for the Closutton trainer if the yard moves into a realistic challenging position for the title after the three-day Aintree meeting the week before the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.

This year’s Coral Scottish Grand National will be run 50 years to the day since Red Rum made racing history by completing the Grand National (Aintree) and Scottish Grand National double in the same year (1974), the only horse ever to do so. 

Ayr Racecourse will unveil a plaque commemorating the legendary chaser’s unique achievement on the opening day of the meeting, Friday April 19.

A statue of Red Rum is already situated outside the racecourse’s Western House Hotel after being commissioned and unveiled in 1975.

Red Rum ran in four Scottish Grand Nationals in 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1977 with his win 50 years ago in 1974 coming three weeks after Aintree under Brian Fletcher.

A 6lbs penalty took his weight to 11-13 in his TENTH race of a season which had started at Perth in September and included a short-head second in the Hennessy Gold Cup behind Red Candle.

This year’s race is the focal point of Scotland’s first ever £500,000 raceday, though the £100,000 Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle has also attracted 48 possible entries, including last year’s winner Rubaud, one of four horses entered by trainer Paul Nicholls.

Ewan Whillans’ Cracking Rhapsody is one of three Scottish trained entries, with charity horse Doddiethegreat (owned by Kenny Alexander and running for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation) one of three entries made by Nicky Henderson, who won the race with Verdana Blue in 2019 and River Ceiriog in 1986.

Early favourites for the Scottish Grand National, from sponsors Coral: 8/1 Kitty’s Light; 10/1 Git Maker; 12/1 Anglers Crag, Beauport, Elvis Mail, Inis Oirr; 14/1 Bar.

Continue Reading