Wednesday, 25th Apr 2018
A look at the leading trends for the highlight of the Scottish jumps season at Ayr on April 21
The Coral Scottish Grand National takes centre stage at Ayr on Saturday, April 21, with a maximum field of 30 set to go to post.
It is run over almost 4m and sees runners tackle 27 fences. Over the years there have been some huge priced winners and it is undoubtedly a hard puzzle to solve.
To help you narrow down the field when making your selection, Horsebetting.com experts have taken a look at the key race trends for the prestigious contest in our Scottish Grand National stats guide.
In the last 20 years, eight-year-olds have the best record having triumphed on eight occasions.
Nine-year-olds have won three Scottish Grand National races in that time, that same as the 11-year-old brigade courtesy of Hello Bud (2009), Merigo (2010) and Wayward Prince (2015).
Seven of the last 10 runnings have been won by horses between the ages of seven and nine. Two of the two of the last four runnings have been won by seven-year-olds in the shape of Godsmejudge (2013) and Vicente (2016) – the latter went on land back-to-back successes 12 months ago.
Raiders from the across the Irish Sea have a dire record in the race, with the last winner coming 148 years ago in 1869 when the Scottish Grand National was run at Bogside.
That’s a massive negative and suggests that sticking with the home team is a must when making your pick.
No jockey has totally dominated the Scottish Grand National, but Sam Twiston-Davies as been the most successful in recent times having landed back-to-back successes aboard Vicente in 2016 and 2017.
Wayne Hutchinson, meanwhile, partnered Godsmejudge to win in 2013 and finish runner-up in 2014.
Robbie Dunne, who won on Wayward Prince in 2015, has a good record in staying chases, so it is alway worth a second look as to what he is onboard.
Favourites having a shocking Scottish Grand National record, with Paris Pike the last to be successful in 2000.
However, Vicente was sent off the 9/1 joint-favourite before capturing a second success 12 months ago. There have been just four winners below 10/1 since 2003, who were all sent off 15/2 apart from Vicente.
The race has also thrown up some real shock results, courtesy of Iris De Balme (66/1, 2008), Al Co at (40/1, 2014), and Wayward Prince (25/1, 2015). So, if you fancy a horse at a huge price for the Scottish Grand National, don’t let anyone put you off!
In recent times the training honours go to Nigel Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls, who both have three successes to their name.
Twiston-Davies’ treble came courtesy of Captain Dibble (1992), Earth Summit (1994) and Hello Bud (2009). He also came close to winning the race 12 months ago when Cogry finished a neck runner-up.
Nicholls, meanwhile, won the race in 1997 with Belmont King and saddled Vicente to land the race in 2016 and 2017. No horse has won the Scottish Grand National three times since it was first run at Ayr following the closure of Bogside in 1965.
There is no huge plus or negative as regards weight. Thirteen of the last 20 runnings have been won by horses carrying less than 10 stone, so they have a slight edge but nothing great.
Indeed, three of the last five Scottish Grand National renewals have been won by horses carrying over 11st, so class clearly counts for plenty more than weight.