The countdown is on to one of the greatest spectacles on the Scottish sporting calendar. Each year a field of 30 Scottish Grand National horses battle it out over nearly four miles at Ayr in the biggest race that Scotland has to offer.
The Scottish Grand National betting action is always intense as punters try to find the winner of one of the last great races of the jump racing season. With a history dating back more than 150 years, this is a race everybody wants to win - and it’s always a highly competitive, thrilling event to watch.
The 2021 Scottish Grand National runners will be bidding to add their name to a roll of honour that dates back to 1858. This is one of the most historic races in Britain, as well as one of the most valuable, with more than £84,000 going to the winner.
Scottish Grand National winners include some famous names who also won the Grand National at Aintree. They include Music Hall and Sergeant Murphy from the 1920s, Merryman II from the 1950s and more recent winners Little Polveir and Earth Summit.
However, only one horse, the immortal Red Rum, has won both in the same year, a feat he achieved in 1974.
The race’s long history ensures that there are several Scottish Grand National trends to help you find this year’s winner.
Look for horses aged between seven and 11 - there hasn’t been a 12-year-old winner since Willsford in 1995.
Study the handicap closely too. Although horses carrying more than 11 stone have won frequently, only two winners in the last 20 runnings have shouldered more than 11-03 to victory.
Only one Scottish-trained horse has triumphed in the race since 1982 and that was Merigo, who won in both 2010 and 2012 and finished second in 2011.
Even more surprisingly, there hasn’t been an Irish-trained winner since 1869 - a trend that will surely come under serious pressure in 2021. It’s also worth noting that some leading British trainers such as Nicky Henderson, David Pipe, Lucinda Russell and Jonjo O’Neill have drawn a blank despite sending many entries north.
All of the last 17 winners had run in the previous 60 days.
Be wary of horses whose best form is in small fields. With 30 Scottish Grand National runners completing three circuits of the Ayr track, this is not a race for the faint-hearted.
Scottish Grand National favourites have a poor record, with Vicente in 2017 the only favourite to oblige since 2000.
So who’s going to win the big race at Ayr? Let us guide you through some of the horses at the head of the Scottish Grand National betting - and others whose odds are a bit longer. These are the Scottish Grand National runners worthy of attention.
One particularly fancied horse in Sunday's historic race is Sam’s Adventure.
The Brian Ellison-trained charge won the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase in Newcastle back in February, over a similar distance to Sunday's race, beating second favourite Crossley Tender in the process. It looked beaten after the last fence but battled back incredibly well to win by three quarters of a length.
A delighted Ellison believes the competition from Crossley Tender probably suited his horse. He said: "I thought we'd lost it at the last, I must admit. Henry actually said it probably helped him as he didn't want to be in front that long, but he had no option to go when he did."
And with its recent good form, it's no surprise to see it installed as a 10/1 second favourite.
With 30 horses set to run on Sunday, thriving under pressure is a good attribute to have. Sam’s Adventure also won at Haydock over three miles in December, so lasting the pace certainly shouldn't be an issue.
At nine-years-old, the horse certainly fits the age profile of previous winners of the prestigious Ayr Racecourse event. And with a win as recent as February 27th, inactivity won't be an issue for the bay gelding.
With Galvin and Escaria Ten being withdrawn from the race, this could be the perfect moment for Sam’s Adventure to put his name in lights.
The stage is set for a big performance.
Aye Right heads the betting for this Sunday's showpiece event - and rightly so. The 6/1 shot, trained by Harriet Graham, will be going in search of his eighth career win at the Ayr event.
The eight-year-old is a strong finisher and absolutely loves good ground, so the dry conditions could easily play into his hands this weekend.
He also placed at Wetherby, Newbury and Doncaster in recent months, so he should be fit and ready for the big one.
Harriet Graham said: “He does like good ground. He always finishes his races well. He’s one-paced, we know that, but he’s not stopping – he’s just not going any faster at the end, basically. It would be lovely to win one – that’s why we’re here.”
Aye Right was well beaten by Vintage Clouds at Cheltenham last month, but we learned a lot from his performance on the day.
Despite not getting a chance to get into a smooth jumping rhythm, he performed well with a display Graham was "proud of". He was also giving up 9lbs to the eventual winner.
One thing worth pointing out is that he hasn't won in any of his last 7 outings. Punters going on win rate alone might be turned off him for this reason, but he has a lot in his favour for Sunday.
Only one horse, Merigo - who was successful twice - has won the Coral Scottish Grand National for a trainer based north of the border since 1982. The Ferry Master could be the one to keep the prize local in 2021.
Trained by the exceptionally shrewd Sandy Thomson, The Ferry Master shaped with great promise in three runs before Christmas.
Brilliant riding performance on our lad The Ferry Master today @KelsoRacecourse by @mania450 He saw jumps 5 strides out & gave our lad such confidence, just brilliant race riding! More to come from this exciting combination led by masterful trainer Sandy Thomson @LambdenRacing https://t.co/GS8DH9sTfm— Nick Bannerman (@Nick19666) November 7, 2020
He was last seen delivering an average performance at Haydock in February, but will surely be better for Ayr.
Most of the top weights among the Scottish Grand National runners lined up at Aintree on Saturday.
If, as expected, they pull out, it will bring The Ferry Master, currently on 9-04, into the handicap proper.
There are plenty of ifs and buts around Mister Fogpatches that explain his place among the longshots in the Scottish National betting. Not least is the fact that he needs plenty of horses above him in the handicap to withdraw to give him a place in the race.
But if they do, and if the horses at the top of the field withdraw following their exertions at Aintree, he could be running with a very handy racing weight.
Mister Fogpatches, trained in Ireland by Pat Fahy, has been placed several times this season, including at Gowran in October.
18:00 at Gowran Park— Racing TV Fast Results (@RacingTVresults) October 3, 2020
1. Brace Yourself 1/1 f
2. Mister Fogpatches 11/4
Full results and replay here ▶️ https://t.co/qAJ4jVoYun
But he has shaped like a horse crying out for a much longer trip. If he gets the chance to tackle that at Ayr, he could reward an each-way investment at long odds.
Our very own Bryony Frost may well be teaming up once again with the Paul Nicholls’ trained Yala Enki to reunite the team that came together for the Grand National at Aintree last week.
After a fall in that race both avoided injuries, and they could well be feeling good and ready to go again. Bryony will be bidding to become the first woman to win the Scottish Grand National in the race’s history.
One of the best ways to increase the enjoyment of a big race like the Scottish Grand National is to join with your friends or workmates in a sweepstake.
The principle is simple. You all chip in a sum to the pot and in return you are allocated at random one of the runners in the race. If that horse finishes in the first four, you receive a prize.
There should be plenty of Scottish Grand National sweepstake kits available in the countdown to the big race at Ayr. Even if there aren’t, you can easily draw up one of your own!
All you need to do is print out a list of the 30 runners that will be finalised in the 48 hours before the race.
In normal times, you’d print out another list, cut out each runner’s name and put them all in a hat, from which all your friends or colleagues could pick a name.
You’ll probably be running the 2021 version online, so we suggest assigning a random number to each horse and asking your pals to pick a number between one and 30 that hasn’t been picked yet.
In terms of prizes, the pool could be shared out as follows:
1st place - 60%
2nd place - 25%
3rd place - 10%
4th place - 5%
We hope you and your friends or colleagues enjoy the race - and the sweepstake!
Whether you fancy a bet on one of the Scottish Grand National favourites or a runner at far longer odds, we encourage you to gamble responsibly.
Any form of gambling is supposed to be a fun leisure activity. It’s a way of having an extra level of interest in a sporting event you really want to watch.
It’s essential that you don’t wager more than you can afford. If this becomes an issue, and you find yourself drawn to betting to excess, there are numerous agencies offering practical advice and assistance, including GamCare.
When is the Scottish Grand National?
The 2021 Scottish Grand National takes place at Ayr on the afternoon of Sunday April 18. This is one of the biggest events in the Scottish sporting calendar and it happens a week after the Grand National at Aintree and a month after the Cheltenham Festival.
What time is the Scottish Grand National on?
The Coral Scottish Grand National is due to start at 3.35 on the afternoon of Sunday April 18. The runners complete nearly three circuits of the course at Ayr.
Who will win the Scottish Grand National?
The 2021 renewal of this great race looks as open as ever. You may decide to go for one of the Scottish Grand National favourites, or perhaps you will put your money on a long shot. The choice is yours!
Where does the Scottish Grand National take place?
The Coral Scottish Grand National is staged each year at Ayr, Scotland’s premier racecourse. When the race was founded in 1858 it took place at Houston, and moved from there to Bogside in 1867. The race was held there for almost 100 years before moving to its current home in 1965.
How to bet on the Scottish Grand National?
The simplest way to enjoy Scottish Grand National betting is through an online bookmaker. Many offer special bonuses to new customers who sign up to bet on a big event like this, so it’s worth checking what’s on offer. Then get signed up, make your selection and you’re away.
How long is the Scottish Grand National?
The Scottish Grand National is run over a distance of three miles, seven furlongs and 176 yards - just 44 yards short of four miles. It is one of the longest events in the calendar - Scottish Grand National runners must clear 27 fences during the race.
Where can I watch the Scottish Grand National?
The Scottish Grand National has been televised live every year since 1969. It is currently covered by terrestrial channel ITV and by Racing TV. You can also watch the race live on your favourite betting site if you have had a bet on the race.