Coral Scottish Grand National Tips

Coral Scottish Grand National 4m Ayr Saturday

Our selection, The Last Samurai, in last week’s Aintree spectacular, gave us a great run for our money, and who knows what might have happened if the course hadn’t received that race day soaking. Unfortunately he is never going to be so well treated again, so perhaps that was his chance. Hopefully the £211,000 prize for the runner up will have offered connections some consolation, as it is probably more than double, what the winner of Saturday’s contest can expect to bank. It is still a prize very well worth winning, and could prove of great significance in the dual for the trainers title between Messrs Nicholls and Mullins, who both field runners with promising credentials.

Nicholls is mob handed, and the two of his that catch the eye are the 7yo Vicente, and the 9yo Benvolio. Vicente ran a decent race in the 4m National Hunt Chase at the Festival, finishing a running on 5th, despite being badly hampered by a loose horse three from home. As the runner up, Native River won a Grade1 at Aintree last week the form looks very solid, and considering Vicente beat the subsequent Festival winner, Un Temp Pour Tout last November by 2 3/4L giving him 8lbs, he looks really well treated here off a mark of 146, giving him a nice racing weight of 10st13lbs. He is a prominent racer which is nearly a prerequisite here as the winner of The Scottish Grand National rarely comes from far off the pace. He likes decent ground, has a pedigree that shouts stamina and comes from the yard that trained the 1997 winner, Belmont King. One for the shortlist!

Benvolio is also bred for the trip and showed his wellbeing two weeks ago when cantering up by 11L at Newbury from Ned Stark, with another of Saturday’s opponents, Tour Des Champs, a further 4 1/2L back in 4th. He is up 9lbs for Saturday but did look an improved animal on the good ground at Newbury and given similar conditions at the week end could be involved.

Willie Mullins relies on the 8yo, Measure Of My Dreams, who finished 3rd in the National Hunt Chase, 7 3/4L in front of Vicente, and given testing ground would be of interest. He looked very one paced on Cheltenham’s good/soft surface last time, and this Grade2 winner, on heavy ground at Navan, probably needs the heavens to open.

James Moffatt’s 10yo Highland Lodge, put up a fine staying performance when winning the Beecher Chase over the National fences (Aintree3m2f soft) last December, and as a result was well fancied for last weeks big one, but unfortunately failed to make the cut. Reported to be in fine fettle, he is another who races up with the pace,has just 10st4lbs in the plate, and with stamina virtually assured has to be of interest. Consolation may await!

Winner of the 2014 Grand National off a mark of 143, the 13yo Pineau De Re showed there was still life left in the old dog when winning at Carlisle in December, and ran well enough last time, finishing seventh (3m2f Newbury March 5th). His shrewd trainer Dr Richard Newland reports him to be in the best form since his Aintree triumph, so off a mark of 137 (10st4lbs) is worth a second look.

Newland also runs the 10yo prolific winner, Royale Knight ( has won seven times over fences) and he has come in for strong support in the market. A winner over 4m at Kelso, he ran a fine race over 3m5f at Sedgefield last October, winning off a mark 136. Subsequently raced over inadequate trips he gets into Saturday’s contest off a lenient looking 142 giving him 10st9lbs to carry. Given decent ground of definite interest!

Scottish trained Millborough, the winner of the 2015 4m 1/2f Eider Chase off a mark of 134 looks as if he has been laid out for this. The 10yo had the ideal prep when finishing 2nd to Firth of Clyde at Carlisle four weeks ago, and gets into this on a mark only 3lbs higher than for his Eider victory. Indeed when we take the very useful Graham Watters 3lbs claim into account he will have the feather weight of 10st1lb in the plate.

Will he keep the prize north of the border?

Colin Tizzard who is having such a wonderful season runs the 10yo Masters Hill, and running off a mark of 140 is another who seems to have been treated leniently. He went down by a head to another of Saturday’s opponents, Good To Know, when apprentice ridden over 3m 4 1/2f at Right handed Taunton five weeks ago. He would surely have won but for continually jumping left and making a mistake two out. He will be much better suited by the left handed course at the weekend and it isn’t hard to imagine the already replete Tizzard pudding being further egg’d.

Selection : Vicente.

E.W. : Royale Knight.

Horse Betting Tips Scottish Grand National Ayr Saturday

Sam Winner

Paul Nicholl’s Sam Winner looked a likely type for this when beating The Druids Nephew and Saint Are over 3m31/2f at Cheltenham in November, and confirmed He was on the up, when beating the classy pair Medermit and Ma Filleule at Aintree four weeks later.

Saint Are, our e.w. Suggestion in last weeks National, ran a great race to finish 2nd at the rewarding odds of 25/1, so let’s hope we can point you in the right direction in this weekend’s Scottish equivalent.

Having won the race once and been placed three times from only ten runners, over the last decade, anything proud Scot Alan King enters must be treated with respect. His representative on Saturday is the 7yo Beneficial gelding Sego Success, who on only his second attempt over the larger obstacles, beat the well backed favourite, If In Doubt (won next time out) over 3m1f at Wetherby last November. He followed up six weeks later with quite a fetching performance when winning a Cl1 listed novices chase over Warwick’s demanding course. Strongly fancied for the four mile National hunt chase at the Cheltenham festival, He got seriously knocked about, and his jumping suffered, so it was to his credit that he was still in contention until between the last two fences. He faded to finish 5th 17l behind the runner up, and favourite for Saturday’s contest, Broadway Buffalo. Given a more trouble free passage at the weekend, the very progressive Sego Success, with his nice racing weight of 10st5lbs must have a good chance of being involved at the business end on Saturday.

Following his fine run at the Festival Broadway Buffalo’s chance has to be respected, but he has had a busy season and perhaps Saturday’s contest is something of an afterthought. He also does seem to reserve his best for an easy surface, so conditions are unlikely to to suit.

Paul Nicholl’s Sam Winner looked a likely type for this when beating The Druids Nephew and Saint Are over 3m31/2f at Cheltenham in November, and confirmed He was on the up, when beating the classy pair Medermit and Ma Filleule at Aintree four weeks later. Three weeks after that He again ran another good race when finishing 3rd in the Gd1 Lexus chase at Leopardstown. He reappeared 14 weeks later in the Gold Cup where he was pulled up before the third last, when he may well have needed the race. He remains the class act in Saturday’s contest, will not be inconvenienced by good ground, and must have serious prospects of emulating Grey Abbey in 2004, the last animal to hump 11st12lbs to victory.

Jonjo O’Neill’s Catching On, in March, won a 3m61/2f Exeter handicap very easily off a mark of124, and eleven days later was backed in to 5/2 fav to win the Midland Grand National at Uttoxeter off 130. The race may well have come too soon as he never got into his stride, and fell at the 8th. Now racing off a mark of 139 He doesn’t look particularly well handicapped, but with his attractive weight of 10st3lbs and coming from this yard, He is difficult to dismiss.

Last years runner up Trustan Times, has had a disappointing season and as a result is 2lbs lower in the handicap than last year. His shrewd trainer used the same race (Pertemps hurdle final) at the Cheltenham Festival, as he did last year, as the horses final prep for this. While it is true that Trustan Times has been disappointing over the season, it is worth remembering that the stable was badly out out of form all winter, and it would be no great surprise to see him to the fore again with his feather weight of 10st2lbs.

Tony Martin sends Gallant Oscar over from Ireland, and this lightly raced 9yo looks nicely weighted with just 10st1lb. He ran like a stayer at the Festival, when a running on 3rd behind The Druids Nephew and Grand Gesture. He had previously finished 4th in the Thyestes Chase, in awful conditions, to the Gold Cup runner up Djakadam,so does appear to be well treated at the weekend.

Peter Bowen is represented by Al Co and Edmund Kean. Al Co won last years renewal for the stable, but having got no further than the first last week at Aintree, and being 5lbs higher than last year, perhaps the more interesting of the two is Edmund Kean. Having been pulled up in his previous two races Edmund Kean, last time, ran very promisingly at Stratford when going down by a neck to Midnight Lira off a mark of 127. Bound to be suited by the step up in distance, and despite being 3lbs wrong in the handicap, it is not impossible that he might emulate Joes Edge, who won from three pounds out of the handicap in 2004.

Selection: Sam Winner

E.W. : Gallant Oscar