ITV Racing Tips: Cool Mix to keep Scottish Grand National in Scotland
We are in the midst of Grand National season and two weeks after the Midlands Grand National it is the turn of the Scottish Grand National.
Racing from Ayr will be the centrepiece of the weekend’s TV coverage with the four-mile chase providing the climax to an eight race schedule shared with Newbury’s final jumps meeting of the season.
But all the focus will be on Ayr where the Future Champions Novices’ Chase and Scottish Champion Hurdle are among the other features.
There will be 24 runners in the Scottish National for which the top weight Hill Sixteen is trained in Scotland by Sandy Thomson who also saddles the more fancied The Ferry Master, who will be bidding to claim another win for the home nation 12 months after Mighty Thunder’s victory for Lucinda Russell.
Coverage begins on ITV from 1.00pm and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
This nine-runner limited handicap hurdle looks a pretty open affair. Last year’s one-two Milkwood and Anna Bunina are back for more.
Milkwood was a ready winner 12 months ago but is now 18lb higher having gone on to finish second in the Galway Hurdle. He’s had only one unsuccessful run over fences since and looks to have been laid out for this. It won’t be easy to win again with Greatwood Hurdle winner West Cork also in the field.
Scottish County Hurdle winner Socialist Agenda is 6lb out of the handicap but he is a progressive hurdler who has won five of his seven starts. There should be more improvement to come and he looks the value option at each-way odds.
Do Your Job’s second place behind Edwardstone at Kempton in December has a very positive look to it after his conqueror’s victory in the Arkle at Cheltenham.
Do Your Job has backed up that performance since, winning a handicap over this trip at Newcastle in February. He was all out that day after travelling well most of the way but provided conditions do not ease significantly, he can do the job again.
The timing of Easter means this race is staged before the Aintree Grand National, rather than afterwards. There are plenty of likely candidates among the 24 runners with the market favouring the Christian Williams-trained pair Kitty’s Light and Eider Chase winner Win My Wings.
Until last year, Scotland hadn’t enjoyed much success in its own showpiece but Sandy Thomson saddles both The Ferry Master and Hill Sixteen in the field.
At the bottom of the handicap, Cool Mix could be a likelier candidate for the home team. Trained in Dumfries and Galloway by Iain Jardine, he ran a solid fifth 12 months ago when far from certain to be suited by the four-mile trip.
He has been running consistently since while at the same time slipping a further 6lb in the handicap. Jardine has employed 7lb claimer Alan Doyle this time which on paper gives him a massive chance.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 2nd April
13:15 Ayr – 2m handicap chase
13:35 Newbury – 2m2f novices’ handicap chase
13:50 Ayr – 3m novices’ handicap chase
14:10 Newbury – Veterans Chase Series Final
14:25 Ayr – Scottish Champion Hurdle
14:45 Newbury – 2m4f mares’ novices’ hurdle
15:00 Ayr – Future Champion Novices’ Chase
15:35 Ayr – Scottish Grand National
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.