Crawford’s Charge In Fine Fettle For Scottish National
The Scottish Grand National is set to be jump racing’s latest big story as Willie Mullins sends over Measureofmydreams as he looks to secure a first British trainers championship.
Mouse Morris will saddle Folsom Blue in search of a historic Grand National treble and Gordon Elliott will run top weight Cause Of Causes as he tries to cap off a fantastic season with another valuable prize. There are many more subplots to this story but the one I’m hoping for emerges from County Antrim as Stuart Crawford chases his biggest ever winner with Fine Rightly.
Having won a couple of Grade 3s, a Grade 2 and a valuable Grade C handicap for Crawford, there is no doubt that Fine Rightly is a horse that has been a fantastic servant to the trainer but at 25/1 he could prove to be a good servant for punters this weekend.
The eight-year-old has plenty of weight to haul around the extended 3m7f contest with 11st8lbs on his back and it may well be questionable how much he has in hand of the handicapper but his form is just so rock solid that he is proving difficult to ignore.
Winning his last two races, Fine Rightly won as you’d expect him to given the opposition but he could hardly have done any more. Prior to that he looked like a no hoper in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown but he did his best work at the finish and finished third, albeit 20-lengths behind Carlingford Lough.
His defeat behind Empire Of Dirt got an obvious form boost at Cheltenham and it was run over a trip (2m5f) that would be shorter than ideal.
This marathon contest could be perfect for him.
Success for 8/1 Measureofmydreams would almost certainly seal the trainers championship for Willie Mullins and the owners championship for Michael O’Leary and it would serve as some compensation for Bryan Cooper who obviously had a difficult decision to make at Fairyhouse and Aintree.
This horse is not without his chance and his form from Cheltenham last time out got complimented by Native River pitching up to win at Aintree last weekend. He would look more solid at the head of the market than his joint favourite Cause Of Causes, who has top weight for this assignment but it’s questionable whether he can improve that much to defy all while the runners while giving weight away.
Don’t rule out another fairytale for Mouse Morris. It’s a big ask for 16/1 shot Folsom Blue but he wasn’t disgraced in the Irish Grand National last month and the trainer has his horses flying at the moment. Surely he’s worth a saver.
The likes of Measureofmydreams and Vyta Du Roc are novices that could have a big say and may prove to be well handicapped, as could Seeyouatmidnight, who earlier in the season beat RSA Chase winner Blaklion, but Fine Rightly is the pick and while it’s clearly a very competitive race, he is a horse that rarely runs a bad race and hopefully Saturday is another of his good days.
*Prices correct at time of publication.