2016 Scottish Grand National Preview: Vicente tipped for Ayr glory

Saturday 16th April, 2016 - 4:10pm Ayr - Scottish Grand National

The dust has just settled following an epic renewal of the Grand National at Aintree last weekend, but we quickly swerve our attentions north of the border, as a bumper field of 30 runners are set to flock to Ayr for the Scottish Grand National, which is sure to provide as much working out as its Merseyside equivalent, and the Saturday showpiece is yet another head-scratcher for punters.

  • Only one of the last ten winners have carried more than 11st
  • Eight of the last ten winners have been priced 12/1 or bigger
  • Cause Of Causes won at the Cheltenham Festival last month

Irish Raiders Dominate Head Of The Betting

Gordon Elliott's Cause Of Causes failed to make the cut for last week's Aintree feature, but the mightily-impressive winner of the Kim Muir Challenge Cup at last month's Cheltenham Festival will attempt to build on that sparkling Prestbury Park win with victory in this race, and despite having top weight here, he is a best-priced 10/1 shot with Sky Bet to land Scottish glory.

A 12-length annihilation of A Good Skin (20/1) in that Cheltenham event, the eight-year-old looked way ahead of the handicapper, but not only will face a raft of superior rivals here, he has been handed a gargantuan 17lb rise, and that's going to be very tough to defy here, so he may be worth taking on at the head of the market.

A more likely winner from the Emerald Isle is Measureofmydreams, who will fly the flag for Willie Mullins, as he aims to secure the British Jumps Trainers' title, and having caught the eye when finishing third in the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival then he could be one challenger who is worthy of a second look, and he is the 9/1 favourite with bet365.

With only three career starts over fences under Rules, this eight-year-old Closutton inmate will have to show an element of maturity in this ultra-competitive field, but off a mark of 150 he could be well treated and has to be etched into the shortlist for what is one of the sporting highlights this weekend.

Vicente Catches The Eye For Nicholls

Paul Nicholls will still hold aspirations of toppling the aforementioned Mullins in the race for the top trainers crown, and he will aim to emulate his 1997 victory in this race and will saddle Vicente, who was fifth in the four-miler at Cheltenham, and could be another major contender in this event, and at 16/1 with Paddy Power, who are paying five places each-way is an eye-catching betting proposition.

He was slightly hampered at a crucial time in that Cheltenham race before he just emptied late on, so with a minor drop in trip like to aid his chances, and if he can find that form that saw him beat Un Temps Pour Tout earlier in the season then he could run a huge race for the Ditcheat-based trainer and seven points bigger than Measureofmydreams could offer more value.

Folsom Blue Lines Up For Aintree Hero Morris

A sensationally strong Irish charge will head to Scotland and Mouse Morris, who trained Rule The World to Aintree glory last weekend will unleash Folsom Blue, who is aiming to hand his Emerald Isle handler more National success, but he will find it tough at 25/1 with BetVictor, and Tony Martin's Heathfield could be a more attractive bet and at 14/1 is another potential each-way play for punters.

With such a competitive field doing battle and with six horses since 2000 winning this race when priced 20/1 or bigger it's worth looking for some lively longshots and Golden Chieftain was a heartbreaking late faller in the Midlands National last month, and is a 25/1 shot with Coral, whilst Ballyculla (20/1) and Becher Chase winner Highland Lodge (20/1) also warrant respect.

However, the standout 33/1 shot is Goodtoknow, who is going in search of a hat-trick of wins for Kerry Lee, who has taken the National Hunt division by storm last weekend, and with stamina no issue has to be considered a lively each-way contender, and is worth a speculative few quid in a cracking renewal.

Saturday 16th April - 4.10pm OddsWon/LostBet
Scottish Grand National    
Tips Vicente (each way)    Best Bet @ 16 / 1  
Goodtoknow (each way) @ 33 / 1  

2016 Scottish Grand National Odds

Posted: Friday, 15th April 2016
Author: Steve Chambo

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