Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (4 miles) Ayr 3.35pm
The Nationals come thick and fast in April and next up is the Scottish equivalent. Paul Nicholls has won this 3 times since 1997 and no other trainer currently holding a licence has won it more than once in that time. Phillip Hobbs, Alan King and Nigel Twiston Davies have had multiple placed horses, with the latter two also winning it, so look out for their runners.
20 of the last 22 winners had been off the track for at least 14 days and 17 of the last 19 winners carried 11-03 or less.
19 of the last 22 winners were aged between 8yo and 11yo and 20 of the last 22 winners posted a top 6 effort on their last run, but a top 3 finish is preferable as 14 of those 20 winners finished in the first three on their last start.
The last 8 winners all came from the official ratings band of 135 to 146 which might just help narrow the field by a few.
There have been plenty of big priced winners of this race over the years, but we can narrow the big field down by concentrating on those in the top half of the market with 19 of the last 22 winners being found in the top 15 in the market.
Given that 24 to 30 go to post, we can whittle it down somewhat on that statistic.
Between 3 and 6 runs in the current season looks ideal (19/22) as is a previous win over at least 3 miles (19/22).
All bar 2 winners since 1997 had run over fences at least 5 times and 18/22 last ran in a class 2 or 3 race. 16/22 had won a race that season.
That gives us the following profile:
Off the track for 14 days or longer
Carrying 11-03 or less
Aged 8yo to 11yo
Top 6 finish last time out (ideally top 3)
Rated 135 to 146
Top 15 in the betting
Between 3 and 6 runs in the current season
Won over 3 miles or further
At least 5 races over fences
Won a race in the current season
Ran at class 2 or 3 level last time out
Trained by Paul Nicholls, Alan King, Phillip Hobbs and NTD
Click here to read on and find out which of the Scottish National runners tick the key trends boxes to feature in the final selections:-