Buddy Up With Amigo For Scottish Grand National
Scottish Grand National
The Irish and English Grand Nationals have already taken place. This weekend Scotland has its turn with a cracking field ready to go at Ayr.
This Saturday’s Scottish Grand National at Ayr (3.45) completes the recent trilogy of Nationals to have been staged of late, and while last weekend’s 25/1 victor, Many Clouds, was a rare winner to have lumped a big weight, it will be a surprise if lightning strikes twice.
Oscar To Lift Trophy?
Nine of the last 10 winners of the Scottish National carried 10st9lb or lower, and one who has been allocated a nice weight of 10st1lb is Tony Martin’s, Gallant Oscar (9/1).
A winner of last season’s Leinster National at Naas (3m, soft), this 9yo was last seen finishing to good effect when third in a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham last month (3m1f, good to soft) – Indian Castle was a head behind in fourth – and Saturday’s 4m1f could bring improvement. Gallant Oscar’s followers will be hoping he doesn’t go off as favourite, though, as the market leader has failed to shine in this race…
Of the last 10 Scottish National winners…
10 were non-favourites
10 ran in a class 2 or 3 race last time – others were 0-121
10 moved up in trip from last time
9 were 8-11yo’s – others were 1-67
9 carried 10st9lb or lower – others were 1-63
9 ran 2-3 times during the last three months
8 were officially rated 132-143
7 made the top three last time
Buffalo To Spread Wings
One who has nothing to prove over this marathon trip is David Pipe’s 7yo, Broadway Buffalo (10/1), who stayed on to finish just over 1l behind Cause Of Causes in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham last month (4m, good to soft). Stamina is obviously his forte, and a repeat of that last effort would see him thereabouts.
A further 17l back in fifth at Cheltenham was Alan King’s, Sego Success (10/1), who will need to find more if reversing form with Broadway Buffalo, while Paul Nicholls’, Sam Winner (12/1), will need to be as good as Many Clouds last weekend if defying a weight of 11st12lb.
Jonjo O’Neill may not have supplied Tony McCoy with the Aintree winner last weekend, but has another realistic chance with the 7yo, Catching On (12/1). Winner of last month’s Devon National at Exeter (3m6f, heavy), he may have found the Midlands National 11 days later coming too soon (fell), but has been rested since.
Al Co Back For More
Peter Bowen also missed out seven days ago with last year’s Scottish National winner, Al Co (14/1), who fell at Aintree’s first fence, but he will turn up here looking to defend the crown from a 5lb higher mark – although Sean Bowen’s 3lb claim makes him theoretically just 2lb higher.
Indian Castle is another with a kind weight of 10st6lb (14/1), and the manner in which he stayed on up the Cheltenham hill to get to within a head of Gallant Oscar suggests he may also improve for this step up in trip.
A cracking renewal in store, and one in which David Pipe’s, Amigo, looks an interesting contender at 25/1. A winner here at Ayr over hurdles, he ran well at Newbury last time and shaped for some time as if he could win a big staying handicap on decent ground.