There are some key trends which must be looked at when trying to pick the winner of the Scottish Grand National. Stamina is key, and the vast majority of winners will have already won a Class One or a Class Two race over at least three miles before running in the Scottish Grand National. On the same note, experience is often important. The hurly burly nature of big fields in handicap chases means that most winners of the race will have had at least eight runs over fences. Being aged no younger than eight years old is also deemed advantageous.
Weight is also a key trend, with a clear pattern favouring lightly weighted horses. The vast majority of winners carry no more than 10st 7lbs, and the only top weight to win the race in 16 years was Grey Abbey in 2004, who had plenty of form in Graded races.
The Scottish Grand National is a long hard race, and coming as it does towards the end of the season, it is also a big advantage for the horse to be fresh. As such, most winners will have had no more than six runs that season leading into the big race.
Despite the fact that three horses have managed to win the race three times, multiple winners are now rare. The last victory from one of those treble winners was in 1956. The normal big stables also haven’t had the best of records in the race, and it has been won many times by smaller yards. One notable fact is that horses trained by Irish-based trainers have not won the Scottish Grand National since 1869, a particularly shocking statistic given the increasing influence of Irish horses on the results of big races in Britain. It is surely only a matter of time before the likes of Willie Mullins breaks the hoodoo over the Irish runners.