David Ord's horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's Coral Scottish Grand National, with Colin Tizzard tipped to land the Ayr showpiece.
GOLD PRESENT: Late defector from the Randox Health Grand National and drying ground in his favour here. Big weight to carry though and yet to prove himself over marathon trips.
VICENTE: Won the last two runnings of this race and looked as good as ever when touched off by Perfect Candidate on his Cheltenham reappearance. Nowhere near as good on two subsequent starts and taken out at Aintree last week because of testing ground but revival imminent.
SIZING CODELCO: Would be making quick return to action having finished fourth to Might Bite in the Betway Bowl at Aintree. Didn’t jump fluently there and his overall record this season is very patchy.
BALLYOPTIC: Useful novice chaser, winning Towton at Wetherby (beating Vintage Clouds by two-and-three-quarter lengths) and finishing fourth behind Presenting Percy in the RSA at Cheltenham. Five pounds worse off with his re-opposing Towton rival here and sure to make bold bid.
BEWARE THE BEAR: Back on track when staying on fourth behind Coo Coo Sivola in Ultima at Cheltenham last month and while he hasn’t always been a model of consistency, would be a player here if in the same form.
FAGAN: Represents the powerful Gordon Elliott team but restricted to small field chases so far, chasing home Black Corton on his latest start at Cheltenham. Interesting and unexposed but hasn’t screamed he wants a marathon trip so far.
LABEL DES OBEAUX: Not as exposed as some but cut little ice in Betdaq Chase at Kempton on last start. Now four pounds lower than when creditable sixth in Sky Bet Chase though so handicapper starting to give him a chance.
SIZING TENNESSEE: Ran well to be third in National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham – losing a shoe and only crying enough from the last. Bold jumping front runner, he ticks a lot of boxes for this heat.
REGAL GLOW: Won last two including a career-best in the Midlands National. Strong traveller who’ll get every yard of this trip he arrives here in peak form – but from a ten pounds higher mark than Uttoxeter.
WEST APPROACH: Another Tizzard novice who emerged with credit from Cheltenham – finishing sixth to Shattered Love in the JLT. His last three starts have been in Grade One company so it's a welcome drop in class but whether he wants such a searching stamina test remains to be seen.
SILSOL: Ran well to be fourth in Midlands National and five pounds lower than when fifth in Welsh National in January. Possibilities for powerful stable.
VINTAGE CLOUDS: Long appealed as sort to win race of this nature but failed to land a telling blow when third in the Welsh National. Good run to fill same place in Ultima at Cheltenham and has the ability to go close. Will be interesting to see if connections reach for headgear.
GET ON THE YAGER: In very good hands and was progressing well over fences before finishing ninth in the Midlands National. Seemed to be empty that day and stamina has to be the question mark again.
HENRI PARRY MOGAN: Had seemingly lost his way before blinkers brought about a sudden revival at Ffos Las last time. Well handicapped if he is back on song but it remains an if and his jumping is always a worry in company as deep as this.
BENBENS: London National winner at Sandown but soundly beaten twice since and big leap of faith to see him resuming winning ways here.
LOOKING WELL: Returned from eight-month absence at Musselburgh in February and had the race at his mercy only to swerve and unseat rider going to the last. Missed Approach was back in third at the time and he’s unexposed over this sort of trip but clearly has his quirks.
COGRY: In and out performer and while very capable on his day, his tendency to make mistakes means the percentage call is to look elsewhere.
INDY FIVE: Promises to relish trips such as this and ran well to be second to Takingrisks here last time. Races from the same mark and definitely of interest but had a hard race there (raced into clear lead) and that is a worry.
MYSTEREE: Eider Chase winner last term but made little impact both outings this time around, pulling up in Welsh National and tailing off in Grand National Trial at Haydock. Lot to prove right now.
STRAIDNAHANNA: Goes very well at Catterick and won their last time but his form elsewhere is patchy at best and pulled up when sent off a 50/1 chance in this last year.
DOING FIVE: Solid season to date and two pounds lower than when fourth to Benbens in London Marathon on his latest start. Drying week very much in his favour and another for a very long shortlist.
JOE FARRELL: Well-backed winner of a Newbury handicap on his latest start, he remains with potential over fences but needs another career best to win this from an 11 pound higher mark.
WORK DU BRETEAU: Made little impact in Doncaster handicap hurdle on first start for Dan Skelton having switched yards from Tim Reed. That was first start after a wind op and he’s impossible to fancy here.
PEARL SWAN: Made a belated reappearance at Uttoxeter in March and took step forward when eighth to Thomas Patrick at Aintree on Saturday but at the same time didn’t look a Scottish National winner waiting to happen.
GLENCAIRN VIEW: Irish raider who won Navan novice handicap last time. Successful at Punchestown in January too and capable of better over fences but this is by far his sternest test to date.
THE YOUNG MASTER: Been in decline to but signs he was about to spark into life when sixth to Missed Approach in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir at Cheltenham. Shaped there as if he needs a stiffer test – which he gets here – but he still has a bit to prove right now.
ALZAMMAR: Made mistakes when fourth at Carlisle last time a run which did little to underline his credentials here. Looks in the grip of the handicapper.
BOA ISLAND: Joined Jimmy Moffatt from Paul Nicholls and not seen since disappointing at Wincanton in October. Others have much more persuasive credentials.
ALVARADO: On best behaviour when second at Doncaster in December and not seen since. Will have been trained for this having been fourth last year but 13 now and not one to trust implicitly.
FACT OF THE MATTER: Pulled up at Wincanton in November when last seen. Ground likely to suit better at Ayr but that's one of very few positives on offer.
RACING EUROPE: Not seen since January 2016 and only had three starts over fences. In very good hands but makes no appeal.
PORTRAIT KING: Out of his depth nowdays in this.
A wide-open renewal with SIZING TENNESEE a tentative selection following his fine run in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham.
Doing Fine heads the long shortlist of dangers along with Ballyoptic. Of those at bigger prices, Label Des Obeaux, Looking Well and Indy Five appeal most.
- Sizing Tennesse
- Doing Fine
- Label Des Obeaux