Scottish Grand National Preview : Al Co And Henri Parry Morgan Can Reward Each-Way Backers At Ayr
Event Venue: Aye Racecourse, Saturday 15.55. Live on ITV.See Stats
It’s the season of Grand Nationals and fancied runners have won the last two in Ireland and the big one at Aintree but two outsiders can make the frame at least in the Scottish version at Ayr on Saturday. Henri Parry Morgan has become a consistent disappointment this season and Al Co is not the horse he has been in the past but both are fancied to make the payout places in the Scottish Grand National.
The race is run over four miles and one half furlong and is the longest race in the jumps calendar in Scotland. Only the iconic Red Rum in 1974 has won the race and the original National in the same season. There is a two week gap between the races this year but no horse that ran at Aintree is prominent in the betting for Saturday’s race. The maximum field is 30 runners and the standard place terms are one quarter the odds for the first four places but some bookmakers may settle bets on five. There will be plenty of betting offers related to the race.
Three horses have won the race three times but the most recent treble was completed in 1956. The leading rider and trainer records with four and five wins were set in the nineteenth century and 1980’s respectively. The last dual winner was Merigo in 2010 and 2012. Since 2000 five winners have carried more than eleven stone including Vicente who won the race last year and is a leading contender this time, available at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
Al Co (33/1 with Paddy Power) is back for more having won the race in 2014 carrying 10 stone 2 pounds. The horse has been allocated eight pounds more this time but that rise is well within Al Co’s range of ability and he can get in the mix again. Winning the race may be beyond the horse and at 12 he would be the oldest winner since 1995 but he can reward each way backers especially if you bet with bookmakers who are offering the concession of paying out down to fifth place.
Henri Parry Morgan is also carrying 10 stone 10 pounds and looks thrown in on previous form so looks great value at 33/1 with Skybet. However, his best efforts are now a distant memory and it is taken it on trust that the horse can deliver after letting his backers down so many times. But it is in his record that he was beaten by just three lengths by Native River off level weights at Aintree last year. Here is the result. Back in third place almost four lengths adrift was Blaklion who for a long way looked like the winner of the Grand National this year.
The selection ran a slightly more promising race than recent efforts including at the Cheltenham Festival back at Aintree two weeks ago. Henri Parry Morgan never looked like winning the Betway Handicap Chase at the Grand National meeting. At least he completed the race but could make no impression from the horses involved in the finish two fences from home. At his best Henri Parry Morgan is a blot on the handicap and can be placed with Al Co in Scotland’s most famous race.
AL CO and HENRI PARRY MORGAN can make the payout places in the Scottish Grand National.
- The race moved to Ayr from Bogside in 1966 and only one winner since then has carried 12 stone.
- Grey Abbey carried the biggest weight to victory this century in 2004 with 11 stone 12 pounds.
- Since 2000 the winners have been in the 7 to 11 age group.
- Only the owner/trainer connections of Merigo (2010 and 2012) are dual winners in that spell but Ferdy Murphy won the race in 2005 and 2007 for different owners.
- There has been no winner trained in Ireland of the race ay Ayr.
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