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2019 Scottish Grand National tips - Two horses to back in Ayr’s seasonal highlight

A view of the runners leaping a fence during the Scottish Grand National.

We take a look through the ante-post betting for this year’s Scottish Grand National and highlight three horses to back at Ayr on Saturday 13th April.

A week after Tiger Roll made history at Aintree, a field of talented staying chasers will travel to Ayr to try and claim their slice of Grand National history. The Scottish equivalent of the National has been wowing fans north of the border since 1867, with many of the sport’s most famous name’s glittering on the roll of honour.

Red Rum became the only horse ever to win both the British and Scottish Grand Nationals when he followed up in 1974. “Rummy” has since been followed into the winners’ enclosure by fellow legends like Little Polvier – who landed the Aintree National two years after winning at Ayr – and Earth Summit, who claimed Scottish National glory in 1994 before scooping the Welsh and British Grand National prizes later in his career.

Sadly, my three tips in the British Grand National failed to fire, with Vintage Clouds’ early exit summing up the luck I endured during the meeting. Hopefully, Ayr will yield much more profitable results this weekend. Here are two horses I fancy will run a big race in the 2019 Scottish Grand National.

2019 Scottish Grand National tips


Lucinda Russell was delighted to see former Grand National winner, One For Arthur return to form with a sixth-place finish at Aintree. The Scottish-native is yet to experience success in this version of the National, but BIG RIVER (10/1 William Hill) has been campaigned lightly with this race in mind and he looks primed to run a big race.

Regularly in the frame during his novice season, Big River didn’t reappear until the start of December this time around, where the well-backed favourite fell midway-through the Rehearsal Chase. An equally unconvincing effort followed at Carlisle a couple of weeks later and Russell’s team wouldn’t have held much hope that Big River could mount a serious challenge as he entered the Ultima at Cheltenham.

Beware The Bear made the headlines, with Vintage Clouds and Lake View Lad running blinders in-behind. Few, however, noticed the progress of Big River – who looked to be struggling at the rear entering the final circuit, but stayed on better than any of his rivals to finish less than seven lengths behind the winner in fourth.

Russell’s nine-year-old has winning form here at Ayr, having romped to victory in a handicap hurdle in 2017. That performance at Cheltenham was an excellent result to bring into the National and Big River is sure to remain on an extremely workable mark. It’s easy to see why he’s one of the ante-post favourite. 


Eleven of the current top 30 in the entries ran in the British National last week, so it’s no surprise to see horses like Chic Name – currently 58th on the list – sitting prominently in the betting, as the field is likely to cut up a fair bit. Takingrisks if of interest for Nicky Richards, who’s yet to win the Scottish National, but the one I prefer sitting near the bottom of the weights is BRIAN BORANHA (25/1 William Hill).

Peter Niven’s eight-year-old is a three-time winner over fences, with his most recent success coming in the Durham National up at Sedgefield, where Henry Brooke rode the 7/1 shot to a convincing, nine-length success. Brian Boranha then struggled a little behind Go Conquer in the Listed Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster, but performed much better at the same venue at the start of March, following Chidswell and Dingo Dollar home in the Grimthorpe.

A clear love of good ground meant Niven could only campaign Brian Boranha in the summer during a wet 2017. Ground conditions this term have been much more favourable, allowing the eight-year-old to cut his teeth in much higher-quality handicaps and Brian Boranha has proved he belongs in this sort of company. Younger horses have a decent record in the Scottish Grand National and Brian Boranha proved he could stay marathon trips when cruising home in the Durham National. 25/1 is a very tempting price.

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2019 Scottish Grand National tips - Two horses to back in Ayr’s seasonal highlight

We take a look through the ante-post betting for this year’s Scottish Grand National and highlight three horses to back at Ayr on Saturday 13th April.

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