The most noticeable statistic about the Scottish National is the weight carrying bias of the winners over the last decade. One winner carried 11-3, one winner carried 10-9, but the other eight winners all carried 10-4 or less.
Of course statistics are prone to change but, that’s strong enough for me to narrow my search to fit that criteria, and therefore discard the top 15 runners on those grounds.
That leaves us with 16 runners, but I’m happy to narrow those down to just 5 runners who I think have excellent chances.
Catching On 16/1
Went off just 5/2 for the Midlands Grand National but fell early. Proved his stamina at Exeter on soft ground, but has won on good ground (be it off a much lower mark and over hurdles). Trainer Jonjo O’Neill also had a winner at Ayr on Friday.
Trustan Times 16/1
4lb higher than when finishing third last year despite making a horrific early error. Looks to have been definitely targeted at the race and is impossible to rule out if he can just avoid a big mistake.
Wayward Prince 33/1
The best handicapped horse in the race if anywhere near his best. Has won major races off marks of 150, and races off 137 here having hacked up at Doncaster two starts back off a career low mark of 124. However, I’m inclined to think that carrying a low-weight on good ground was perfect conditions for him and he gets them again here. Despite never having raced at Ayr, all his best form has been on other flat left-handed tracks with long straights. The big question is will he stay 4-miles?
Gallant Oscar 10/1
The likely favourite is another who needs to prove his stamina, but connections have been longing to try him over a National trip. Missed the soft ground Irish National to wait for better ground and is a strong candidate.
Drop Out Joe 22/1
9lb better off with Wayward Prince after finishing a7 lengths second to him at Doncaster. Needs to brush up his jumping, but his connection look to have patiently waited for this in the hope that 4 miles on good ground prove the perfect conditions with which to exploit a very workable handicap mark.
With 5-places on offer with the bookies, it’s tempting to go into the race mob-handed – however I think the two horses that are overpriced are Drop Out Joe and Wayward Lad.
Drop Out Joe 1 point each-way @ 22/1 (Various) ¼ odds 1-2-3-4-5
Wayward Lad 1 point each-way @ 33/1 (Boylesports or Paddy Power) ¼ odds 1-2-3-4-5