We’ve no doubt you’ve had it marked on your calendar for weeks, maybe even months, but if you’ve somehow forgotten, let us take this moment to remind you that the Ladbrokes SPFL Mascot race is ready to go once again!
This Friday, mascots from up and down the land will take to the starting line at Hamilton Park race course for the annual mad dash.
Will Celtic’s Hoppy the Huddle Hound be first over the line? Is Ayr United’s Pandamonium going to prove too strong?
Or will last year’s controversial winner – home favourite The Duke of Hamilton Racecourse – defend his title?
Ahead of the big race, we’re running the rule – and the odds of course – over this year’s contenders…
The Duke – Hamilton Racecourse – 4/6
The home favourite, and going by his odds, the bookies’ favourite too. The Duke sparked enormous controversy last year by winning the race despite not belonging to the club.
He’s back again this year to defend his crown, but can any football mascots stop him and restore parity in the mascot world?
Rocky the Rooster – Airdrieonians – 6/4
Now, with all the greatest respect in the world, Roosters aren’t known for running, or even flying.
But by the look on Rocky’s face, the Airdrie mascot is absolutely ready to rock! He has already been backed in from 20/1 to 6/4…
Cappie the Cat – Greenock Morton – 5/1
We’ll be honest here, if Cappie the Cat turns up on the start line with a crutch, while covered in bandages, we’re not sure health and safety will let the Morton mascot run.
Cappie’s been through a lot in his life – he was catknapped and decapitated a few years ago – so if you’re going to back anyone on spirit alone, Cappie the Cat is the one for you.
Amber – Motherwell – 8/1
We’re not too sure why Amber is such a shorter price than Motherwell mascot twin Claret.
Maybe that pretty little bow holds special running powers?
Hoppy the Huddle Hound – Celtic – 10/1
He may look loveable and cuddly, but as joint-second favourite at 10/1 Celtic’s Hoppy the Huddle Hound is a mascot to be respected.
He carries the weight of Hoops fans across the globe, so no pressure, Hoppy.
Broxi Bear – Rangers – 10/1
This will be a battle within itself as Broxi Bear looks to save Gers’ pride against Hoppy the Huddle Hound.
Tiny Terror – Dundee United – 14/1
He may be tiny in name, but Dundee United’s Tiny Terror could be a big winner at 14s.
Sunshine the Leith Lynx – Hibernian – 14/1
The cool cat of the Mascot race. Sunshine the Leith Lynx is an experienced pro at these events, and, being a cat n’all, he’s pretty quick too.
Question is, will it be Sunshine on Leith when they cross that finish line?
Claret – Motherwell – 16/1
Claret – one half of the famous Well double act Claret and Amber – is no stranger to the Mascot race.
Often a solid midfield finisher, judging by those rapid red boots we’re wondering if Claret is about to cause an uspet?
Pandamonium – Ayr – 20/1
If there’s one animal known for taking its time in the world, it’s a Panda.
But Ayr United’s Pandamonium isn’t any old Panda, and as long as he removes his hands from his eyes, and looks where he’s going, who knows what mayhem he could cause.
Dougie the Doonhamer – Queen of the South – 20/1
With a name more fitting in a Marvel movie, Queen of the South’s Dougie the Doonhamer commands respect.
Dougie is also a border collie, and we all know they just love to run, and run, and run. Worth an E-W punt.
Baxter the Bridie – Forfar – 20/1
We’re absolutely certain that Forfar’s Baxter the Bridie will be hungry for victory. (Ba dum tsh)
Forfar’s pastry-based mascot is quite a character too, having hung out with Phil Mickelson and performed a strip-tease.
Can this fame-hunting mascot keep his game (pie) face to win the race, or will he be (sausage) rolled over?
Paisley Panda – St Mirren – 20/1
Every race needs a bad-boy and the Ladbrokes SPFL Mascots have St Mirren’s Paisley Panda. A bit like the Wolf off Gladiators.
Paisley has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons over the years, so we reckon it’s about time he earned some good press? As long as he doesn’t get distracted by Ayr United’s Pandamonium…
Nutz the Squirrel – Kilmarnock – 25/1
One of the most loveable mascots in the race, it pains us to say Nutz the Squirrel is something of an outsider.
We just can’t help but feel that big bushy tail – beautiful though it is – isn’t quite designed for a sprint race.
Falkirk will also be present on the day with Fergus Fox.
Last season’s Ladbrokes League 1 champions Dunfermline are also in town with Sammy the Tammy.
But we are concerned over the absence of last season’s favourite – Partick Thistle’s Kingsley.
He may be scary, but is this all part of some plan to surprise us all?
So, those are your runners and riders for the 2016 Ladbrokes SPFL Mascot Race.
Who are you backing?
Ladbrokes SPFL Mascot Race odds:
4/6 – The Duke – Hamilton Racecourse
6/4 – Rocky The Rooster – Airdrieonians
5/1 – Cappie The Cat – Greenock Morton
8/1 – Amber – Motherwell
10/1 – Hoppy The Huddle Hound – Celtic
10/1 – Broxi Bear – Rangers
14/1 – Tiny Terror – Dundee United
14/1 – Sunshine The Leith Lynx – Hibernian
16/1 – Claret – Motherwell
20/1 – Pandamonium – Ayr United
20/1 – Dougie The Doonhammer – Queen of the South
20/1 – Baxter The Birdie – Forfar Athletic
20/1 – Paisley Panda – St Mirren
25/1 – Nutz The Squirrel – Kilmarnock
5/1 – The Field – Any Other Entry
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.