Scottish Grand National Tips: Wings to Soar to Scottish Success
A field of 24 are set to take their chance in the biggest race north of the border, the Scottish Grand National. As is to be expected, it looks a tricky puzzle for punters to solve, but our man Billy Grimshaw thinks he has found the winner...
Last season this race took place in an eerily quiet amphitheatre as Covid regulations meant no spectators were allowed into Ayr racecourse. If it were a full house, as we expect for the 2022 renewal, then the roof would undoubtedly have been raised as Scottish trainer Mighty Thunder reeled in long time leader Dingo Dollar to claim the prestigious race for trainer Lucinda Russell. He was in the field for a while but looks set for Aintree now and in his absence it is not a Scottish home team that looks strong, but a Welsh raiding party from the Christian Williams stable who are leading the market.
Firstly, the current favourite is KITTY'S LIGHT. The gelding has found victories hard to come by this season, but in some of his placed efforts has shown qualities that undoubtedly strike him out as an ideal Scottish National type. His stamina laden profile has been clear to see in these runs with late staying-on efforts the running theme after sometimes being taken off his feet by more speedier types. He comes in off an attractive looking weight and under Jack Tudor he looks likely be in the mix come the finish. STORMY JUDGE for Pat Fahy is one of the next contenders in the market and is seemingly the best of the Irish challenge if the market is to be believed. He has man of the moment Danny Mullins to aid his quest for Scottish National glory and his form from around the turn of the year warrants respect. He is a half brother to last year's third Mister Fogpatches for the same yard.
Another Fahy runner set to take his chance is HISTORY OF FASHION who is bona fide staying chaser. His trainer recently told the Racing Post: "In all his races, he seems to be only getting going when it's all over, so you'd imagine the trip would certainly suit him." This is as clear of an endorsement for his credentials in the near four mile test at Ayr as you can ask for and he is a temptingly big price to at least make the frame for a shrewd set of connections. Last season THE FERRY MASTER was bang there in contention until slightly weakening after the second last and not being able to go with the winner. Another season's training and experience could mean his stamina wells have got slightly deeper and if that is the case he is another worthy of the each-way shortlist.
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The Alan King team have really started to hit form recently and of course were successful at Cheltenham with stable star Edwardstone. He looks to send the inexperienced MISTER DUNDEE to victory in this contest and with only three runs over fences to his name he may find this all coming too soon, if he is as unexposed as his connections must hope he could have plenty in hand and show a class edge over the rest. THE WOLF looks set to line up for Olly Murphy and he is another who has been running over marathon trips for a while now, putting in a solid effort last time out when second at Musselburgh over 3m7f in the Edinburgh National. Dan Skelton will saddle ASHTOWN LAD with brother Harry on board, and the novice was last seen proving no match for Ahoy Senor. He is another who lacks experience but could be unexposed at this trip.
A result that really would send the Scottish crowd wild would be if the now twelve year old VINTAGE CLOUDS were to come home in front for Scottish trainer Sue Smith. The 2021 Ultima winner was not at his best when attempting to repeat the feat in 2022 and will have to lump a big weight around Ayr, but if he gets into his bold front-running rhythm it'll be some sight to see and there would be no more popular winner than the current 33/1 chance.
The one I like is the other Christian Williams runner, WIN MY WINGS. With four wins from her last six starts, Win My Wings is a mare who has been on the up this campaign. I was seriously impressed with her last performance, routing a field full of dour stayers in the Eider Chase at Newcastle. A victory over four miles that day up on Tyneside shows this trip will be light work for the nine-year-old. She was raised eight pounds for this commanding victory but the shrewd Williams has booked the most coveted amateur from the Cheltenham Festival Rob James to take off 7lbs and almost nullify the rise in the weights. I think there is still plenty to come from this progressive chaser and she can keep her winning momentum rolling and bag another big prize for connections.