Who Will Win the Scottish Grand National?

Scottish Grand National

Grand National season continues in full flow this weekend. Hot on the heels of the Irish and English versions of the race, Saturday sees Scotland take its turn in the spotlight, as Ayr plays host to its biggest race of the year.

With a marathon trip of 4m and 27 fences standing between the runners and glory, only the strongest stayers need apply for this stamina-sapping event. Win My Wings rewarded favourite backers twelve months ago when leading home a famous 1-2 for Welsh trainer Christian Williams, but what will the race have in store this time around?

Here we take a look at the Scottish showpiece from a trends perspective, using data presented by Newbettingsites.uk, to pick out the runners most likely to find their way into the winner’s enclosure.

Age Trends

Scottish Grand National - age trends

Previously held at the attractively named Bogside, the Scottish National switched to Ayr in that famous footballing year of 1966. The above graph shows the spread of winners over the 56 editions of the race to have been held at the current venue. Seven to nine years of age would appear to be the sweet spot in this contest, with exactly 75% of winners falling into this bracket. Amongst those to fall down on the age trend this year are the 2021 champ, Mighty Thunder (too old) and the well-fancied Irish raider, Malina Girl (too young).

Weight Carried Trends

Scottish Grand National - Weight Carried Trends

Completing this marathon trip with a light weight on your back is likely no easy task. It would therefore seem probable that coming home in front under a welter burden would be even more difficult.

That view is largely borne out by the trends, which suggest a strong bias towards lightly weighted runners. Of the 56 editions at Ayr, only 7 (12.5%) have been won by a runner carrying more than 11st3lb. It should be noted that the minimum weight is set at 10st2lb these days, but even accounting for that fact, the stats suggest it may pay to concentrate on those runners set to carry between 10st2lb and 11st3lb - giving preference to those towards the lower end of that scale.

Other Factors

  • Proven Stamina a Must - Nine of the past ten winners had previously won over at least 3m. 
  • The only outlier being 2018 hero Joe Farrell who came up just short with a previous success over 2m7½f.
  • Officially rated between 134 and 146 - The past ten winners all fell into this bracket.
  • In form or arriving from Cheltenham - Seven of the past ten winners either finished in the first three last time out or arrived on the back of a run at the Cheltenham Festival

Summary: Revel an Each Way Play, and Supervision Not to be Underestimated

Plenty of likeable sorts make it through the stats filters here, including the current favourite, Kitty’s Light who won the Eider Chase last time out, and finished a seven-length second in this last year. 3lbs lower this time around, there’s a lot to like about his chance, but he is just a little on the short side for our liking, and we prefer to take two each way at much bigger prices.

First up is the Harry Fry trained, Revels Hill. This one ran a cracker in the Devon Stayers Handicap Chase last time out over 3m6½f, when only going down by a length to the reopposing Coolvalla. He gets a 2lb pull with that rival here, but more significantly is set to carry 10st12lb, as opposed to the 12st anchor which he was shouldered with at Exeter. An excellent fourth despite being badly hampered in the London National earlier in the season, he looks well suited to this sort of test and can go well at 20/1 with BetUK.

Also worth a punt at 16/1 with BetUK is the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Undersupervision. Twiston-Davies has won this three times in the past, and has come close to adding to that tally in recent times – saddling the fourth in 2013 and 2019, third in 2015, and second in 2017 and 2018. This seven-year-old ran by far his best race of the season when second last time out at Doncaster, and can run a big race in what is likely his major target for the year.

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