How much do the connections of your Scottish Grand National fancy rate their mount? In our feature ‘Straight From The Horse’s Mouth’ we aim to collate, in one article, the best of the quotes concerning a selection of the leading entrants ahead of Saturday’s Ayr feature race.
Trainer Tony Martin: ‘He’s fit and he’s well. I’ve been very happy with him since Cheltenham and he ran well there.
‘[On him staying the distance] You never know for sure but he won the National Trial over 3m at Naas last year on soft ground so that would indicate that he’d have a good chance of getting a mile further on better ground, we’ll see.’ [Racing Post, 15th April]
Cheltenham Festival jockey Katie Walsh: ‘[He’s] the one that I think could take a bit of beating this time around.
‘The 4m trip is a gruelling one but one that we know he’ll take in his stride after his run at Cheltenham and you can be sure that David Pipe has him spot on for tomorrow.’ [Irish Herald, 17th April]
Trainer Peter Bowen: ‘He’s good. He didn’t have a race at Aintree. He fell at the first [in the Grand National] and jumped seven or eight fences after that.’ [Liverpool Echo, 13th April]
‘If you are going to fall, you want to be going at the first don’t you? He jumped about 10 fences after and jumped them perfectly. I don’t think it was his fault. A horse came across him and half knocked Denis [O’Regan] off.’ [Racing Post, 13th April]
Jockey Wayne Hutchinson: ‘He reminds me a lot of Godsmejudge, who won the race in 2013 and was runner-up again last year.
‘The ground should not be an issue and he is a thorough stayer. Looking at the race, I think he appears nicely weighted on 10st 5lbs and ticks a lot of boxes so I have to say I am quite sweet on his chances.’ [Sporting Life, 8th April]
Trainer Lucinda Russell: ‘The race was a bit of an afterthought a year ago [when pulling up], but this time we’ve sort of had this as a target for quite a while.’ [Sporting Life, 17th April]
‘It looks like he has been flat out in all his races but Scu [assistant trainer Peter Scudamore] has always been adamant that he has plenty left.’ [Sporting Life, 7th April]
Trainer Jim Dreaper: ‘The horse is good but the ground won’t be ideal. Conditions were perfect for him in Uttoxeter, whereas it looks like we’ll get perfect racing ground on Saturday – which won’t be advantageous for him! He’s in good form and we’ll just be hoping for the best.’ [Racing UK, 17th April]
Raz De Maree
Trainer Sandra Hughes: ‘He seems good and well and we’re looking forward to it. The only slight worry, other than the ground, would be that he’s already travelled to Uttoxeter and then Aintree last week and now he’ll have to travel again.
‘I’m hoping it doesn’t take too much out of him.’ [Racing UK, 17th April]