Last Saturday was the Aintree Grand National but this Saturday the attention turns a bit further up north to Ayr for the Scottish Grand National. This is raced over four miles and is also a grade three.
Vintage Clouds ran in the National but fell at the first. He is a winner over three miles one furlong, beating Takingrisks, and ran a very good race in the Ultima behind Beware The Bear to be second. That pair had Big River behind and Sizing Codelco pulled up. Nicky Henderson’s Cheltenham winner has top weight but has won his last two. He was pulled up in this last year though.
The Classic Chase at Warwick looks like it could be a good form line. I was there that day and it was a great race. <Read my review here>. Impulsive Star won, Cross Park was third, Carole’s Destrier was fourth, Cogry fifth and Sizing Codelco was eleventh. Impulsive Star was pulled up on his next run after this, over today’s trip, at Cheltenham in the National Hunt Chase. He was fourth in that race last year so has stamina. His trainer also had Carole’s Destrier and Doing Fine. The former was fourth at Warwick; then pulled up in the Grand National Trial and he won well last time in a Veterans’ Chase. Doing Fine hasn’t won since April 2017. We haven’t seen him since December when he was well behind Cogry. Will have his ground.
Cogry was tenth in the Classic Chase and that was the last time we saw him. He was second in this in 2017 so has assured stamina. He will be partnered by Sam Twiston-Davies and he is trained by Sam’s Dad Nigel, who also has Blue Flight and Arthur’s Gift. Blue Flight is a strapping big chaser and was looking for a four timer when second to a horse carrying 8lbs less. He is yet to tackle a trip like this. Arthur’s Gift won over three miles on his penultimate start but pulled up last time out in the Midlands National. He was going okay at this kind of trip so may stay.
Crosspark won the Eider last time out with Mysteree and Morney Wing in behind. That race is slightly longer than this so he will stay. He is very versatile and I rate his trainer Caroline Bailey so I think he should run well in this. Mysteree showed absolutely nothing and was well beaten on all starts before his Eider run. He is now 5lbs higher than his last winning mark. Kingswell Theatre is his stablemate. He won two races round the Cheltenham Cross Country course in the latter part of 2017 and then we didn’t see him until this year’s Cheltenham Festival when following in Tiger Roll. He should stay. Morney Wing has been really consistent all season. He won the London National in December, beating Red Infantry, and has placed twice since. He is 20lbs higher than his Sandown mark and connections should be proud of what he’s achieved this year.
Sizing Codelco has been seen twice this season but was well beaten on both occasions. He is still 2lbs higher than his highest winning mark. Red Infantry won at Haydock at the start of the season and then followed in Morney Wing. He was fifth in a grade two handicap and then unseated in the National Trial. He could possibly stay but I can’t see him winning.
David Pipe has two runners from the same ownership – Rathlin Rose and Van Gough Du Granit. The former is such a great horse. Over the years, he has won three Military Races partnered by amputee jockey Guy Disney. He has won one third of his starts and placed on half of them. He’s placed over three miles three, finishing ahead of Morney Wing, but I’m convinced he stays. Van Gough Du Granit is bottom weight. The ten year old has ran twice in Britain and finished third over three miles four and second behind Rathlin Rose. He has stamina doubts.
Cloth Cap is from the same ownership as Vintage Clouds. The seven year old has won three of his eleven starts. He has won the last two and this is a big step up in class and trip. Takingrisks at this track in March 2018 and in November. Next time, he was a half length behind Vintage Clouds and he’s ran well since apart from finishing sixth on his penultimate start. There are stamina doubts. Nicky Richards also has Chidswell. He has won his last two, including at Doncaster beating Dingo Dollar by nine lengths. He gets 13lbs from that rival.
Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson won this in 2015 with Godsmejudge and their representative is Dingo Dollar, who is seven years old (the same age as Godsmejudge won the race). He hasn’t won since February 2018 and was well-fancied for the Ladbrokes Trophy and was a good third, beating Beware The Bear. As a result, he has strong claims.
The Irish won the Aintree National and their representative is Crosshue Boy. He won the novice handicap chase on this card last year, with Dingo Dollar and Acdc in third. Since then, he was well beaten on three starts. His performance last time was an improvement and he should be primed for this. Acdc won at Wetherby at the start of the season. His last three runs haven’t been great and he was behind Blue Flight last time.
Big River’s connections teamed up to win the 2017 Grand National with One For Arthur and they’re hoping this Milan gelding can win. He loves Kelso but won his maiden hurdle round here so that’s encouraging. He was behind Beware The Bear and Vintage Clouds last time though.
Skipthecuddles unseated in the National Hunt Chase after wining a two runner chase over three miles. Stamina is the unknown with this gelding. Brian Boranha won the Durham National over three miles five easily so will stay and was pitted into warmer company the next times. Last time, he was behind Chidswell and Dingo Dollar so has a bit to find with them but was ahead of Beau Du Brixais, who is consistent without winning in class three company but I don’t think he’s up for this.
Chic Name and Geronimo are both out of the handicap. The former won well over three miles one furlong and will stay as he won the Highland National at Perth over three miles six so will stay. Geronimo is so consistent and he won over three miles two furlongs here last time out. This will be a new test for him hut He’s young and progressive.
I’m going with CROSSPARK because he won the Eider Chase last tike so has assured stamina and should be well suited. I’m hoping Vintage Clouds can get over his mishap in the Grand National and I have a suspicion that Morney Wing could run well with very little weight and a good claimer on board even though he is a huge price.
REST OF THE CARD
R1- Lillington – Really progressive sort, won last two.
R2- Dandy Dan – course and distance winner, looking for a four timer, seems like he has more to come.
R3- Pearl Of The West- Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows of my obsession with this mare. She’s one of my ’20 To Watch’ horses and beat Redicean last time over hurdles but recently placed at 25/1 on the flat at Dundalk.
R4- Secret Investor – He’s a nice horse, yard in form, being behind good horses and had a confidence boosting run last time.
R6- Cartwright – Sixth in the Martin Pipe, should like this trip.
R7- Potterman – looks to be on a decent mark, good claimer on board.
R8- O Connell Street—Fell in love with this gorgeous horse at Nicky Henderson last year. Ran very well on debut and hoping he’ll get off the mark.