After the English Grand National at Aintree on Saturday 6th April, attention turns to Ayr and the Scottish Grand National one week later at 4:05pm on Saturday 13th April 2019.
Some big names have won the Grade 3 contest over the years, including Red Rum, who completed the Aintree-Ayr double in the same season way back in 1974.
It takes guts, determination and bucket load of stamina to successfully negotiate the 4m distance and 27 fences required to claim the £122,433 first prize.
Just ask Vicente. Paul Nicholls’ raider won for the second year in a row in 2017 before losing out when fifth to Joe Farrell in 2018.
So what can we glean from past winners? Our trend guide takes a look at the keys stats and indicators from Scottish Grand National winners over the last 10 years.
9 out of 10 had won over 3m before
First thing’s first. You need a serious engine to stay the 4m required to win the Scottish Grand National. So it’s no surprise that nine of the last 10 winners had won over 3m or further prior to the race.
2018 winner Joe Farrell was the last – and only – runner in the last decade to defy such a key trend indicator.
9 of the last 10 last ran 43 days or less prior to the race
It’s important to have your selection in good order ahead of the race. You don’t want them too under or overcooked ahead of a big 4m slog. So a close-ish prep-run is a handy requirement.
That’s why nine of the last 10 had their last run prior to the Scottish Grand National 43 days or less before the race. Al Co’s 104-gap between his run at Ayr and one at Doncaster in 2014 is the only exception.
Each of the last four winners ran 32 days or less prior to the Scottish National, while Hello Bud had just nine days between runs in 2009!
7 of the last 10 were aged between nine and 11 years old
There’s no magic number in terms of age. But recent trends suggest you want a horse with a bit of experience to negotiate the distance, fences and tightly-packed field.
Watch out, though. Although seven of the last 10 winners have been aged between nine and 11-years-old, there hasn’t been a single 10-year-old winner in that time.
Run For Paddy in 2006 is one of only three 10-year-old winners since way back in 1987. Delve further back and 13 of the last 22 winners have been aged eight or nine-year-olds.
7 of the last 10 carried 11-0 or less
It goes without saying that if you’re travelling a long distance; you don’t want to be carrying too much weight. That’s why humans take taxis. Unfortunately horses don’t have such luxuries.
Those carrying a lot of weight don’t tend to perform very well at Ayr, with only Vicente (2016, 2017) and Godsmejudge (2013) triumphing while carrying 11-0 or more.
By all accounts, Vicente is a bit of a freak case which distorts the figures even more. Make sure to keep a close eye on the weights – five of the last 10 carried 10-5 or less.
6 of the last 10 had finished in the first three last time out
We’ve already touched on the importance of prep-runs. It’s also worth noting that your Scottish Grand National pick probably needs to have performed well on the run immediately prior to an Ayr tilt.
While six of the last 10 winners had finished in the top three last time out, eight of the last 10 finished first, second or third in at least one of their three runs prior to the Scottish National.
Only one – Vicente in 2017 – had fallen prior to winning the Scottish Grand National.
1 of the last 10 Scottish Grand National favourites has won the race
You often hear about these big field races being a favourite’s graveyard. The Scottish Grand National is no different. Vicente’s second success in 2017 is the only time in the last decade a favourite has justified the odds.
That means some big priced winners, namely Joe Farrell at 33/1 in 2018, Wayward Price at 25/1 in 2015 and Al Co at 40/1 in 2014.
Make sure to look down the prices on the day of the race, because odds are there’ll be some solid value to be found.
View all our 2019 Scottish Grand National odds from Sportsbook.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication