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Evergreen Alvarado and Aintree faller Vicente square off again

Alvarado (blaze, left) is about to jump the last and go in pursuit of Vicente (centre) in last year's Coral Scottish Grand National
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Last year's gallant runner-up Alvarado comfortably made the cut for Saturday's Coral Scottish Grand National at the 48-hour stage, at which there was only one elimination.

There were 32 runners declared for Ayr's end-of-season spectacular, which has a maximum field of 30. Baby Bach was eliminated, leaving Full Jack as the only reserve in the event of a non-runner being confirmed before 1pm on Friday. The weights have been raised 3lb.

Paul Nicholls has declared three, as expected, including first-fence Aintree faller Vicente, who is down to the same mark as when beating Alvarado by two and a half lengths 12 months ago but nevertheless meets the well-treated second on 6lb worse terms.

Nicky Henderson will also saddle three runners, including progressive novice Premier Bond, the mount of David Bass and the sponsor's 9-1 market leader following last month's third in Cheltenham's Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase.

Fergal O'Brien has been aiming dual Grand National fourth Alvarado at Saturday's race all season and reports him to be in great form.

The trainer said: "This has been the target all along because he ran so well in the race last year and he was never going to make the cut at Aintree this time off his current mark.

"He's very well in himself and you would never know he was a 12-year-old. It's his time of year and he'll love the ground, so let's hope he runs as well as he did last year."

Scottish National entries

He's very well in himself and you would never know he was a 12-year-old. It's his time of year and he'll love the ground