Ayr becomes the focus this weekend as the National Hunt steeplechase comes to town with 2 days of exciting racing to look forward to including the Scottish Grand National (run on Saturday the 21st). This year’s prize money for the Scottish Grand National (4m 110y) is around £180,000 (dipped £20k from 2010 but still not bad for a Grade 3 race).
Scottish Grand National betting has focussed primarily on Sir Alex Ferguson’s co-owned horse, Harry The Viking. Yet to be placed outside the top two finishing positions over its six races, this 7yr old gelding raced well in the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase (4m) last March yet was still 2 lengths short of eventual winner Teaforthree.
Ruby Walsh will ride Harry The Viking, the first time he’s returned to the saddle to race after falling badly from Zarkandar in the Aintree Hurdle last week.
2010′s Scottish Grand National winner, Merigo, makes a return and bookies fancy his chances of repeating his earlier success this year, with current betting odds on this 11yr old gelding floating around 8′s across the board.
Merigo does well at Ayr, and just last month he won the Coca-Cola Handicap Chase (3m 1f) by a neck ahead of Bishops Heir, 4yrs Merigo’s junior.
Speaking of Junior, Scottish Grand National betting has very favourable odds of 14′s for this David Pipe trained 9yr old. Despite falling at the 2nd fence in last week’s Aintree Grand National, the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival winner must be fanciable bet if he gets the nod to race.
7yr old, Portrait King, is bound to be heavily backed if declared. He easily won the Betfred Eider (4m 1f) in late February at Newcastle adding to his earlier truimph in the Punchestown Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (3m 4f).
From the rest of the field, I’d keep an eye out for Jonjo O’Neill trained, Galaxy Rock. Yet to refind his form from last year, he challenged well in both the Sky Bet Chase and the Tommy Shone Handicap Hurdle (both 3 milers). One feels the longer distance of the Scottish Grand National might prove to be in his favour.
Latest Ayr Scottish Grand National Betting Odds
|Harry The Viking||6||7||5||5|
|West End Rocker||14||16||10||10|
Scottish Grand National Betting Odds Last Updated: 18/04/2012 (Betting Odds Correct at Time of Writing)
The Scottish Grand National is live on Channel 4 on Saturday, the 21st of April at 3.25pm.
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