While the empty fake tan bottles pile up on Merseyside, and the dust finally settles on Many Cloud’s victory at Aintree in the Grand National, the Scottish equivalent is right around the corner. Up at Ayr on Saturday 30 horses will line up to tackle the 27 fences over just more than four miles, with a prize of almost £120k up for the winner.
It’s just the kind of race The Paddy Power Blog Team fancy cracking and there’s a 33/1 shot in the mix for the Scottish Grand National who appears to have everything in his favour. If you missed out on Grand National glory last week, this could be your chance to recoup some punting fame.
Firstly, let’s have a little look at the key trends we’re looking for our leading contender to hit. These are taken from the last 10 runnings of the race:
- Seven winners were aged between seven and nine years old
- Nine winners have carried between 9-06 and 10-09
- Eight winners had an official rating between 132 and 146
- Eight winners had either won or been placed over a minimum of three-and-a-half miles
- All 10 winners had run three to six times that season
- Seven winners had run in 10 to 16 chases in their career
- Nine winners had finished in the first six last time out
- Nine winners had either previously won at Ayr or were having their first go around the course
- We’ve also looked at whether the selection has won on good ground, with the going expected to be quick at Ayr on Saturday
Who does that leave us you presumably cry? Carli King hits every trend going, and at 33/1 will be carrying our hopes and dreams (plus a few quid) this weekend.
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Down at the bottom of the weights, Carli King (33/1) for trainer Caroline Bailey is the one that catches the eye at a tempting price. The only runner to hit every trend, this will be Carli King’s first spin around Ayr, but the 10-year-old carrying just 10 stone has every chance. A two-time winner over three miles and six furlongs, the grueling distance should be well within reach and his jumping has never really let him down. He’s got 14 chases under his belt – placing in nine of them – and last time out at Warwick in March he won a Class 3 Chase by 11 lengths after being allowed to dominate from the start.
If jockey Adam Pogson can settle him into a decent rhythm and make the running he has every chance at a price.
Two other outsiders ticking plenty of boxes are Samstown (25/1) and Baileys Concerto (33/1). Despite ticking eight of our nine categories and carrying a nice weight, neither horse has been placed over three-and-a-half miles with Samstown pulled up last time out on his first effort over three miles and five, while Baileys Concerto has never ventured over the extended three-mile mark.
While there are question marks plenty of the leading contenders – favourite Gallant Oscar (8/1) ticks just six trends – there appears to be little in the way of stopping Carli King making a big effort and reigning supreme.