April 12, 2019 News
AYR is the centre of the racing universe this weekend with the Coral Scottish Grand National the highlight of a superb card at the course.
Last year’s race produced a thrilling finish when Joe Farrell pipped Ballyoptic by a nose, and we can look forward to another exciting contest this year for Scotland’s biggest race.
We spoke to the connections of some of those involved in Saturday’s showpiece event to find out about their chances of success.
The favourite: Beware The Bear
Jockey Jeremiah McGrath
“He was brilliant at Cheltenham. He was nice and fresh and came up that hill really well at the end of the race. Afterwards we were disappointed he wasn’t in the Grand National, so the Coral Scottish Grand National became the number one target after that. He went up 9lb in the handicap for that win and it’s not going to be easy to carry topweight, but he seems in good order and goes there with a favourite’s chance.
The gamble: Crosshue Boy
Trainer Sean Doyle
“We’ve had this race in mind since he won at Ayr last year and have always felt that the Scottish National was the race for him. He’s crying out for the trip. He’s a strong stayer and hasn’t had the chance to run over a trip too often. Better ground suits him.”
The solid option: Crosspark
Trainer Caroline Bailey
“He’s a lovely horse and he’s already had a great season coming into this race. He proves he stays this far by winning the Eider Chase at Newcastle, so that’s a big plus. He’s up in the weights, which doesn’t make life easy, but he’s had a nice break and he’s coming into the race fresh and well. If we get a bit of luck in running then I think he can run another excellent race.”
The outsider: Morney Wing
Jockey Rex Dingle
“He gave me my biggest winner when landing the London National earlier in the year and he’s been consistent all season. He loves these marathon races and he’s an excellent jumper, which is really helpful as he wastes no energy. He seems to go equally well on any ground and if he keeps on doing what he has been doing this season he’s in with a shout in this race.”
The home hope: Big River
Trainer Lucinda Russell
“He’s really, really well – I couldn’t be happier with him coming into the race. He wants four miles to bring out the best in him, so that’s to his advantage at Ayr. The ground might a bit quicker than ideal, but the longer trip should counteract that I hope as they’ll be going a touch slower.”