2019 Scottish Grand National Odds and Betting Preview

ayr racecourseFollowing the wondrous Aintree meeting last weekend that culminated in history as Tiger Roll became the first horse since the great Red Rum to win back-to back Grand National’s, the focus turns north of the border this weekend, as Ayr hosts its two-day event, with the Scottish Grand National being the cornerstone of horse racing interest on Saturday afternoon. The big race is due off at 15:35 GMT.

The Scottish equivalent has similarities to the English version; yet has some subtle differences. Both races are of Grade 3 status, however only horses aged 7 and over can participate in the Aintree version, but the Scottish version accepts horses from five years and upwards. Ayr’s event Is raced over four miles and 110 yards, which is a shorter trip in comparison to Aintree, with just! 27 standard fences to navigate over in comparison to Aintree’s 30.

One note of caution for backing horses for the race at this early stage is to hold your bets at least until the final declarations are announced on Thursday lunchtime. Bookmakers are not as keen to offer the ‘non-runner, no bet’ concessions for the Scottish Grand National, in comparison to the English equivalent, so hold on to your cash till later in the week.

Saturday’s renewal will be for horses who are slightly inferior ratings-wise in comparison to the English National, but with a bumper line-up of thirty runners expected, this promises to be a very difficult race to fathom, but hopefully our preview can help you, the reader, to solve a difficult puzzle.

Event Date: April 13, 2019

Battle for Favouritism

alan king

Alan King

At the current ante-post odds of 10/1 the field, it is tough to pinpoint which horse will actually go off as the favourite for the Ayr showpiece, but Alan King’s Dingo Dollar could well be the one that the punters latch onto on Saturday.

The seven-year-old, who is the mount of stable jockey, Wayne Hutchinson, swerved the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals in a bid to tackle this marathon event. Dingo Dollar was last seen at Doncaster’s Grimthorpe Chase six weeks ago, with a solid runner-up effort behind Chidswell, trained by Nicky Richards. This trainer/jockey combination teamed-up with Godsmejudge’s victory of the Scottish National back in 2013, and Dingo Dollar looks to have a similar profile to that winner at the best industry odds of 10/1 with 888Sport.

Local Hope

Another horse in the mix for being the Scottish National favourite at race time is Big River, trained by leading Scottish handler, Lucinda Russell. The Borders trainer knows what it takes to prepare her horses for the big day, as One For Arthur proved by winning the 2017 Aintree National. Russell has yet to win the Scottish equivalent, but Big River is likely to be in the shake-up at the end of the race.

Big River will carry just 10-6lbs, provided top weight Beware The Bear stands his ground and has some excellent form – and some low points – throughout his career. Provided he is on his best form on the day, he looks a very solid contender at the best available odds of 11/1 with William Hill.

Top Weight

nicky henderson

Nicky Henderson

Beware The Bear, trained by Nicky Henderson is the Lambourn trainer’s only shot at the Scottish Grand National this year, but providing his exertions from Cheltenham have taken no effect, then the current top weight in the field, could well be making his presence felt at the end of the race.

A winner of the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last month, Beware The Bear has been raised nine pounds by the handicapper as a result, but that could not stop Henderson’s charge, who had several contenders of this race trailing behind him at the finish. 888Sport are once again the top price on this horse at 11/1.

Irish Raider

Over the years, there has been plenty of interest from over the Irish Sea in this race and although there is just one contender this time around, Crosshue Boy, trained by Sean Thomas Doyle, it looks as though the nine-year-old is not travelling over just to make up the numbers.

Crosshue Boy is currently available at 12/1 with the likes of William Hill and SportingBet and the Irish raider will be looking to emulate his victory at the track from last April, with none other than Dingo Dollar back in second place. Crosshue Boy will relish the likely ‘good ground’ conditions and already has excellent course form, so is definitely one for the short list.

Others to Consider

beware the bear

Beware The Bear

Vintage Clouds could well reappear in the Ayr showpiece provided his efforts in last week’s Aintree National has taken no effects. The Sue Smith-trained nine-year-old fell at the first fence last Saturday and could be re-routed to Ayr in a comeback mission. After finishing in third place in this race last year, the trip and ground conditions will be no concerns, and if Vintage Clouds is in the final declarations, then you can expect a solid performance at 12/1 with Coral and SportingBet.

Cloth Cap will be running in the same silks as Vintage Clouds, who are both owned by Trevor Hemmings, and the Jonjo O’Neill inmate could be one to keep an eye on off a feather weight in this race. Plenty of ante-post money has come for the emerging seven-year-old in recent days, and can be backed at 16/1 with the likes of Ladbrokes and Betway. Cloth Cap has won his last two starts over fences – albeit at a lower level – and could improve further for this extended step up in distance.

Chidswell has already lowered the colours of Dingo Dollar this season at Doncaster, and the veteran chaser could still have one last hurrah at the top level. Nicky Richards’ horse was raised eight pounds by the handicapper following his Doncaster win back in February, but won the race by nine lengths, which still gives a small advantage to Chidswell based on that piece of form. If Dingo Dollar is to run well at Ayr, you can assume that Chidswell will be nearby and can be backed at 20/1 with William Hill and Betfred.


It is obviously difficult to pick any winner of a likely 30-runner race, but hopefully one of these selections above can enter the winners’ enclosure on Saturday afternoon. However, I have to put forward two horses out of the seven aforementioned and those are Big River as a win bet and Chidswell for each-way purposes.

I strongly believe that both horses can be involved in the finish of this marathon event to try and give our readers some profit for the race.

Best Bets:

  • Big River to Win the Scottish Grand National at 11/1 with William Hill
  • Chidswell Each-Way at 20/1 with Betfred – ¼ odds for first four places.