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Runner-by-runner guide: key quotes and star ratings for Scottish Grand National

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A field of 23 runners will go to post for Scotland's most prestigious chase, but who will come out on top? Read our runner-by-runner guide featuring top trainer quotes and star ratings for the big race live on ITV at 3.35.


3.35 Ayr Scottish Grand National racecard and betting


Hill Sixteen

Star rating: **

Lost out by a nose to Snow Leopardess in the Becher Chase at Aintree in December. Warmed up with an excellent Kelso second in a Listed Chase a month ago, but has a bit to do at the weights.

Trainer Sandy Thomson: "We're really pleased with him. He's carrying top weight, which is a 9lb hike from Kelso and a bit excessive. It's a big ask to be carrying that weight over that trip."

Vintage Clouds

Star rating: *

Veteran chaser has contested this race three times, faring best when a four-length third to Joe Farrell in 2018. Started favourite the following year, but could finish only sixth.

Sue Smith: "He appears in very good form. They went too quick for him at Cheltenham. Hopefully, the ground won’t dry up too much for him."

Kitty's Light

Star rating: *****

Progressive young chaser who put up a career-best on his latest start when second to stablemate Cap Du Nord over 3m at Kempton. Went close over 3m5f at Sandown last April. Outstanding claims.

Christian Williams: "He’s in good form, and we’ve had this race in mind for a while. He’s unexposed at the trip and the only concern is the fact he’s got a big weight." 

Fantastikas

Star rating: ****

Trainer knows the type of horse needed for this race, having landed it three times. There is every chance this low-mileage type will improve for the step up in trip and run a huge race.

Nigel Twiston-Davies: "He’s done very little wrong all season. We’ve won the race twice with a novice and he gives us the strong impression he’ll improve for the step up in trip."

Fidux

Star rating: *

Good-ground performer who has yet to win over further than 2m7f. Sure to have been primed for this on his return from a winter break, but has plenty to find in terms of form.

Alan King: "He has never raced over this sort of distance but the longer we've had him, the more he seems suited by a trip. He tends to run well fresh."

Jersey Bean

Star rating: ***

Progressive out-and-out stayer who will relish this first opportunity to tackle 4m. Rallied tenaciously to score over Haydock’s 3m4f in November. Has won four of his last seven starts.

Oliver Sherwood: "He'll love the ground, that's why we've been waiting with him. I'd love to have given him a spin beforehand, but he'll stay the trip." 

Win My Wings

Star rating: ****

Her trainer has quickly carved a reputation for excelling with long-distance chasers and this nine-year-old gave him a high-profile success when taking the 4m1½f Eider Chase at Newcastle.

Christian Williams: "She’s in great form after her win in the Eider. I think there’s a bit of improvement to come. We’re taking weight off, and hopefully that gives her a chance."

Ashtown Lad

Star rating: **

Doesn’t look the most obvious candidate for a significant step up in trip, but boasts two pieces of eye-catching form over 3m behind top-class chaser Ahoy Senor. Looks on fair mark of 140.

Dan Skelton: "You never know with these extreme distances if he stays until he tries it, but I think he's suitable for it. He races very relaxed."

The Wolf

Star rating: ***

Looks tailor-made for the race after finishing second over an extended 3m7f on good ground at Musselburgh. Races off a 2lb higher mark, but has scope for further improvement.

Olly Murphy: "He’s in good form and has been trained for the race. The concern is he’s prone to making an error at a crucial time, but otherwise he has an each-way chance."

10 Streets Of Doyen

NON-RUNNER

11 Stormy Judge

Star rating: ***

Progressive form on heavy ground in Ireland last season, winning novice handicap chases at Naas and Navan. Likely he’s been laid out for the race and bred to stay very well, but might be better on more testing terrain.

Pat Fahy: "Once it's good, safe ground I'll be happy for Stormy Judge. I know he has form on much softer ground, but I think he'll cope fine with it. He's proved himself to be a very good horse already and some of his form is working out really well, particularly his win at Navan last year."

12 Via Dolorosa

Star rating: *

Posted wins in 3m chases at Southwell and Fakenham last month, but much more needed now he takes a significant step up in class off a 10lb higher mark than for latest success.

David Pipe: "He’s turned the corner since his wind op. He’s gone up in the weights since Fakenham, but gives the impression he’ll stay."

13 Prime Venture

Star rating: *

Has twice run with great credit on deep ground in the Welsh National at Chepstow, finishing fourth in 2019 and fifth two years later. Would probably prefer more testing ground.

Evan Williams: "He’s already won a big pot this year. He’s a great old boy and there aren’t many options for him. We thought we’d give it a go."

14 Chirico Vallis

Star rating: ***

Beat Kitty’s Light by a head at Chepstow in October. Two creditable efforts in defeat since, likely to stay and could go well at a decent price.

Neil Mulholland: "He's not done much wrong this season and been consistent at a good level. He has form with the favourite Kitty's Light and hopefully can be competitive."

15 Innisfree Lad

Star rating: *

Clearly relishes an extreme stamina test, placed in both starts over 4m+. Good third in the Eider last time and has the assistance of Brian Hughes.

Jockey Brian Hughes: "He would have an each-way chance. I was third on him in the Borders National and he also finished third in the Eider. He usually runs his race."

16 One More Fleurie

Star rating: ****

Won a 3m novices’ handicap chase at this meeting last year. Represents a bang in-form stable and totally unexposed at this sort of trip. Big player.

Ian Williams: "He ran his best race round Ayr in the novice race last year. It has been our intention to run him in this for a long time. We were happy with his prep run at Cheltenham." 

17 Major Dundee

Star rating: ***

Lightly-raced, progressive chaser who has yet to race beyond 3m½f. Trainer won this race with another seven-year-old Godsmejudge in 2013 and no surprise if he goes well.

Alan King: "Novices often do well in this and he has won two of his three races over fences. I was pleased with his second at Newbury as he stayed on well." 

18 History Of Fashion

Star rating: ***

Started 6-1 for the Eider Chase at Newcastle in February, but backers knew their fate early when he parted company with his rider at the sixth. Enters calculations.

Pat Fahy: "History Of Fashion will love the ground. I couldn't believe how well he coped with conditions at Navan the last day. He's a strong stayer."

19 Court Master

Star rating: ***

Stamina clearly his forte and ran well to finish fourth in the Eider behind Win My Wings. Underfoot conditions will suit and likely to make another bold bid.

Michael Scudamore: "He's got a bit to find with one or two from the Eider, but he's proved he stays, which could be a question mark for some. The better ground will suit him."

20 Ask A Honey Bee

Star rating: **

Disappointed in first-time blinkers when beaten in a match at Catterick, but possible to say he’s fairly handicapped based on his overall novice form.

Fergal O’Brien: "Novices have done well in the Scottish National over the years. It’s a big step up in trip, fingers crossed he stays."

21 The Ferry Master

Star rating: ****

Finished an excellent fourth in this race 12 months ago off a 5lb higher mark and has clearly been laid out for another crack. Conditions appear ideal and should be involved at the finish again.

Sandy Thomson: "He did a nice bit of work around Kelso last Saturday after racing and it's all gone to plan. I'm delighted with him."

22 El Paso Wood

Star rating: *

Bolted up by 34 lengths at Wincanton in January and ran well to finish fourth in the Midlands National last time at odds of 80-1. Stamina clearly his forte.

David Pipe: "He ran well in the Midlands National from out of the handicap. He runs off his proper mark this time and will like the better going."

23 Cool Mix

Star rating: **

Fifth in this race last year, keeping on strongly to pass beaten horses in the straight. Invariably runs his race and seems as good as ever this term.

Iain Jardine: "He's got in the race off his right weight and we're claiming 7lb, so we're giving him every opportunity. He's in good form and he's been consistent in all his runs this season."

24 Strong Economy

Star rating: *

A standing dish round Ayr where he has won four times - all on heavy ground. Likely to struggle in this exalted company on quicker going.

Ian Duncan: "Ideally, I'd have liked the ground to be softer but he'll get the four miles, he likes Ayr and he's in good form."


If you want more on the Scottish National:

Confirmed runners and riders for the 2022 Scottish Grand National at Ayr

Big-race tips: why this horse can win Saturday's Scottish National

Ayr prepared for capped sell-out crowd of 15,000 on Scottish National day


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He's in good form and we've had this race in mind for a while
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