Scottish Grand National at Ayr attracts selected entry field as 31 riders declared

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Due to the Easter timing this year, the Scottish Grand National will take place seven days before the Aintree Grand National.

This has left relations with the puzzle of the game whether their horses are rated high enough to enter Liverpool’s showpiece or secure what will effectively be a guaranteed run at Ayr.

One coach who will be absent from the race will be Lucinda Russell. The Borders manager won the award last year with Mighty Thunder but opted to drop all of her nominations for this year’s renewal, including Cheltenham Festival winner Corach Rambler.

The weights are now led by Irish raider Hewick. The seven-year-old from Shark Hanlon is already a ‘domestic’ winner having clinched the Durham National at Sedgefield in October, but has a bit to prove after stopping at Uttoxeter at the Midlands National.

Paul Nicholls has made no secret of his Championship aims and having won the award twice in the 2010s, his lightly raced Enrilo would be of great interest should he make it to Scotland.

Former Nicholls driver Christian Williams has two particularly strong claims to claim the £84,005 top prize.

Kitty’s Light is yet to win a race this season, but her form has been in the top drawer this season and she was a good second to stable mate Cap Du Nord in the Coral Trophy at Kempton in February.

Win My Wings also represents Bridgend’s handler and the trip will be no worries for the mare having won the Eider Chase at Newcastle.

Sandy Thomson leads the home defense which has come close on several occasions in the past with a number of ranked finishers and he is likely to be represented on that occasion by Hill Sixteen and The Ferry Master at this year’s renewal.

The latter finished fourth in last year’s competition and will come back around 5 pounds lighter in the 2022 renewal.

Thomson told Racing TV: “I am delighted with The Ferry Master. He had been off track for some time before Newcastle

“We could have done without Hill Sixteen to get 9 pounds for his run at Kelso. If he hadn’t raced there and was 9 pounds better off he would be priced much lower, but that’s where we are and we’ll keep going.

“Both horses go there with great luck, I think.”

The track conditions are currently described as good to mild, but the forecast suggests that the weather will be dry except for a few light showers on Wednesday and Thursday.

We will cover both days of the meeting in our live blog.

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