Aintree hero has weight against him in Scottish Grand National
Not since Red Rum in 1974 has a horse completed the Grand National double of victories at Aintree and then the Scottish equivalent at Ayr and the cards have been stacked even more greatly against Aurora’s Encore accomplishing this feat.
An 11lb hike in the weights is the punishment for Aurora’s Encore’s Aintree success and his current official rating of 148 is 5lb more than he carried at Ayr 12 months ago when taking second in the Scottish National behind Merigo.
However, a host of withdrawals for the 4m marathon have now also resulted in Aurora’s Encore being propelled to top weight, meaning he will have to lump round 11st 12lb rather than the 11st 5lb he was set to run off when Weird Al was still among the entries.
Although he is technically no worse off at the weights with his opposition after these withdrawals, carrying an extra 7lb around for 4m obviously has to be considered a negative.
Only one top weight has won the Ayr showpiece in the last decade and five of the other nine that have tried have ended up pulling up.
Moreover, eight of the last 10 winners have carried 10st 6lb or less, which indicates the size of the task awaiting Aurora’s Encore.
Even though it is only two weeks after his Aintree victory, connections will almost certainly attempt the double, especially given the fact that two of his owners are from Edinburgh and another is a director of a company in Glasgow.
Aurora’s Encore is 9/1 to win the Scottish Grand National and one positive to his chances is that two of the last four winners have been aged 11, while the two top weights to have made the frame in the last decade had contested the race previously and finished in the top five.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date