Scottish Grand National Tips
Another Hero – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) (18/1 WH) UP
Shotgun Paddy – 1 point win – 20/1 (gen) UP
Trustan Times – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) UP
Premier Bond – 1 point win – 11/1 (WH/SJ) 10/1 (gen) UP
That my friends, didn’t go to plan. Another Hero gave me some excitement as he travelled so well through this- nothing there when asked, either not good enough or doesn’t have the stamina. Part of me is pleased Cogry didn’t win, that would have been a sickener given my personal history with him. Vicente has run a stormer and I wasn’t that close to him, I can live with him winning at 10s. I suppose if you ignore the fall LTO he was an obvious won given he won it last year! I wasn’t near him. I suppose he was always going to be fresh having fallen at the 1st in the big one LTO. Trustan Times was keen enough, made a few errors which told near the end. Shotgun Paddy was a punt and the headgear clearly didn’t work and maybe the ground was lively enough. Premier Bond – well he jumped off in a good position but went backwards soon enough. Strange run. Maybe he had a shocking journey up but he just never went a yard after the first. Think I have nearly given all the Aintree profit back, not all of it just yet!
Well I narrowed this down to these four + Sugar Baron / Arpege DL / Seldom Inn / Dawson City
In general I have four horses onside whose trainers are in decent form and four horses that are in decent enough form I think, with a slight niggle over Jonjo’s. ..
Another Hero – well he is unexposed over fences but hasn’t done much wrong. They put him in the Irish National last year which was some indication as to their thoughts on his stamina. And there are not too many better judges of a chaser’s stamina/potential over staying trips than Jonjo I don’t think. There is a chance this has been a plan. He was given a quiet ride the last day, not helped but being badly impeded at one stage, but in general he jumped and travelled well, holding his position. On this ground that will be important. They will go a pace here and I think a few won’t hold their positions/will struggle. In first time cheekpieces hopefully Aidan may ride him closer to the pace. I think he will stay but is a decent enough price to take a stab. Jonjo is on fire now, by far the best/most consistent form he has been in for an age. The horse could be anything over a trip like this.
Shotgun Paddy – well when having a brief look last night I put a line through him, and I don’t really know why. Maybe I thought he must have it soft/heavy. This could be a race where hardy, solid long distance chase form comes to the fore. And he has run some very admirable races over the years. There is a ground niggle, but he has gone close on decent enough ground at Cheltenham before and at his price I decided he was worth a play. He gets a first time visor here which is interesting. Over half the field in this race has headgear, which tells it’s own story. Now he may hate it. But he may take to it and if it sparks him up a tad more and makes him travel more sweetly he could hold his position on the front end/front third. If he is anywhere in the van when turning for home he should be there at the finish. He may get tapped for toe but on reflection there wasn’t enough evidence, at his price, to be that dismissive. He comes here in much better form that he did last year and so does the trainer. And i haven’t backed him for a while! One more go.
Trustan Times- well the conditions are fine. He stays, he travels on this ground, he generally jumps well, and surely this has been the plan. He comes here in decent form and a few pounds lower than when placing in this a couple of years back. In this race two years back he was just starting to creep into it when he was very badly hampered and was PU not long after. Clearly he has had some problems but he is with a decent trainer and the last run suggests he is in some decent form again. He has the ability to figure here and at his price I thought it was worth a shot. Hopefully he can hold a position here and isn’t dropped out the back too far.
Premier Bond- my ‘value eyes’ are a bit crap at times. Is he too short? I don’t know. He is a double figure price and if he won I would be a tad annoyed had I not put him up. I have watched that Cheltenham race again and like the ease with which he travelled on the front end, on good ground, jumping well. He may have got tapped for toe turning in but he picked up again and was staying all the way through the line. It was a run that suggested he is well worth a crack at this trip. He looks like he tries for you and has time on his side. He should race prominently. He jumps. Good ground is ideal. Bar thinking he may be a couple of points too short, I couldn’t see why I should leave him out. He looks a fine big stamp of a horse and Bass is decent on the front.
So, those are the four. Two unexposed ones, two who have been there and done it (placed etc) either in this race or similar races before. Two proven stayers. Two who could relish every yard. The trainers of all four are in form. The horses are in decent nick. Fingers crossed I get a run for my money.
Of the rest…
Sugar Baron- well it would be annoying if he won, as it would any of the other 4 i have crossed off. I don’t like the way he lost his position LTO and got a bit far back. Yes he stayed on well at the end but if he does that here I can’t see him winning. I don’t think that was to do with the distance/being out-paced necessarily. They will go a similar gallop here. I suspect that is why the CP are on. They may make the difference but on balance i just left him. Maybe that thinking is wrong. If he holds his position all the way here I may not enjoy the last couple of furlongs! I can’t see why he should finish ahead of his stablemate though.
Arpege D’Alene- I have decided he is a slow boat, that he wont have the tactical speed for this, he may get a bit too far back and as such will end up taking a few fences home with him. Were he 20s I may be more anguished but at 11s I think I will sleep ok tonight if he romps home. He isn’t stepping up in trip here really- he just looks slow. He will stay. He will keep galloping. And he is young enough. That may well be enough but you can’t back everything and that is why a line went through him. Nicholls may have set him up for this and it will be the best run of his life. He did that with Vicente last year who had the same prep. I wont put you off him.
Seldom Inn- I decided that his jumping isn’t good enough on what he has show to date and he lacks any big field chase experience/form. This is no small field heavy chase at Kelso and there hasn’t been a chase yet where he hasn’t made errors. He has a high head carriage also and looks a bit of a thinker. 25s may allow you to overlook those questions, but again, I can’t back them all. I am going to suggest he won’t complete. Famous last words!
Dawson City – I know a few fancy him and maybe, for fear of missing out, I will have some change on at BFSP… but I struggle to see how he will be good enough. He has yet to race above class 3 or on decent ground really. I think he may get taken off his feet here and I decided that his form isn’t up to much. Yes he looks like a dour stayer, but every tip has shown much more ability to date. I don’t think he would have lived with Premier Bond in the KimMuir. You have to be bullish sometimes and he may make me look like a very poor judge! Maybe he will relish the ground and hold his position fine. I am struggling to see it. He couldn’t win the Sussex National, which on reflection wasn’t the deepest, and on good ground I don’t know how he takes this. But, some change just in case!
I probably haven’t mentioned the winner, it is one of those races. So tough. But at least there is no 7/2-6/1 hot pot who will bolt up.
Whatever you go with, good luck. I could have 15 goes at this and may not pick the winner.
Scottish National …
‘Winning Profile’ / Shortlis…
This looks an almost impossible puzzle! It has an odd feel, a surprise in the offing maybe.
4 stats caught the eye.. completed LTO, Not 147+ (knocks out top 3) , 0-6 runs this season (3-6 best) , Ran Listed or Below LTO (have left in NH chase as Arpege has followed same route as last year’s Nicholls winner- NH Chase upgraded from Listed to G2 this year)
That leaves a long list of: Arpege D’Alene / Seldom Inn / Premier Bond / Shotgun Paddy / Lessons In Milan / Another Hero / Sugar Baron / Firebird Flyer / Dawson City / Trustan Times / Man With Van.
Full trends in comment below.
Sat Trainer/Jockey Combo
3.55 Ayr – Kruzhlinin (14/1 or shorter SP)
TTP Flat BONUS
Saturday’s qualifiers, with ratings pointers, from my Flat Stats guide…
Gilmer (micro class + going) H3
Alpine Dream (micro runs 90 days)
2.20 – Specialv (micro class+ going + class)
Green Light (going)
Top of The Glas (micro going + runs this season) G3
Sikandar (micro going + runs this season) G1
Fleeting Visit (all hncps)
Signe (micro distance) H1
Top Beak (micro going) H3
5.30 – Amitious Icarus (micro distance) G3
Royal Reserve (4yo+)
House Of Commons (micro class) G1
Character Onesie (micro runs this season) G3 H3
The H1/H3, G1/G3 above refer to HorseRaceBase and Geegeez Speed Top rated or top 3 rated.
That is all for today.
Good luck with any bets.