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Tom Scudamore previews every race at Ayr on Coral Scottish Grand National Day

22 Apr 2023
Coral Racing Ambassador, Tom Scudamore, gives his expert verdict in every race at Ayr on Coral Scottish Grand National day.

Tom gave just one selection for last Saturday's Grand National in his preview, and that was the winner – Corach Rambler.

Will he tip up another National winner today?

13:15 Handicap Chase

You’d have to respect Frere D’armes as a progressive horse for Dan Skelton, but I like Ann Hamilton’s horse PAY THE PIPER here. He seems to be returning to some of his best form recently, and I thought his 5thin the Red Rum at Aintree last work was a really solid effort.  

Brian Hughes who has won on him before gets back on board, and I can see him going very close in this slightly easier contest.

13:50 Novices' Champion Handicap Chase 

My fellow Coral ambassador Joe Tizzard has a solid chance in this with Oscar Elite, so it would be great to see him pick up a nice prize. Having said that, I do think CITY CHIEF has improved even more since going chasing, and although this won’t be easy under top weight, he’s won at Ayr before over hurdles, and I suspect he’s the one they’ll all have to beat.

14:25 Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle

This is a really tricky contest, and having a look through them, there’s not many I’d completely rule out. At the prices, I’d probably side with last year’s winner ANNA BUNINA for the very shrewd John McConnell team.

She is 12lb higher now than when she won this last year, but she wasn’t disgraced when finishing 9th in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham last time, so I think she can go well again at an each-way price.

15:00 Future Champion Novices' Chase

COASTAL is the highest rated in here, and I think he’s the one that will take all the beating. Even though he disappointed in the Turners at the festival last time, he gave Gerri Colombe a proper race in the Scilly Isles at Sandown the time before, and that form has worked out incredibly well with what the winner has done since. There are some progressive chasers in opposition, but if Nicky’s horse runs up to his best form then I think he’ll win. 

15:35 Coral Scottish Grand National

Dad and Lucinda have a couple in this, so if I’m allowed to be biased, it would be amazing if they could win another big National. If I had to pick the most likely winner though, I’d have to go for Jonjo’s horse MONBEG GENIUS.

He’s looked like a horse to follow all winter, and his 3rd behind Corach Rambler in the Ultima last time was an excellent run, so with the potential of plenty more to come, he’d definitely be my selection.


16:10 Handicap Hurdle 

Ok I really am going to be biased now and go for Lucinda’s horse SERIOUS OPERATOR. He probably found Grade 2 company a bit tough when well beaten at Haydock, but a mark of 119 could underestimate him, and with Patrick Wadge taking off a valuable 5lb here, I can see him running very well. 

16:45 "Hands & Heels" Handicap Hurdle

I think the return to better ground will suit GUERNESEY here, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he returned to winning ways. He’s struggled slightly since joining Joe Tizzard, but as a result he’s come down a fair bit in the weights, and with the drier conditions in his favour, I can see him bouncing back to winning ways. 

17:20 National Hunt Flat Race

This looks very open, but I’ll take a chance on Ian Jardine’s horse SLUGGER in this. He was very well backed when slightly disappointing on his first run at Newcastle, but he showed much more when 2nd over C&D in February, and although he’ll certainly need to step forward again, he does look the type that could keep on improving.

Tom Scudamore, Coral Racing Ambassador
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