THE WOLF 14/1 generally – 0.5 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
CHIRICO VALLIS 33/1 with William Hill and Bet 365 – 0.5 POINTS E/W (6 places, 1/5 odds)
We have 2 selections in the Scottish Grand National.
THE WOLF is only an 8 year old even though it feels like he has been around a lot longer, he is very much in his peak. I have always felt an extreme distance in decent ground would be to his liking and here we are for the Scottish Grand National. Decent ground is important to him and a jumping test is also important and with the fences around this course coming up thick and fast, it will be to his liking. His whole season has been geared around this race in my opinion and he even missed the Cheltenham Festival for this race, which tells its own story. In 3 runs this season he has run well without winning with his form reading 422. Last time out THE WOLF stayed on all the way to the line over 3m 7f and even gave the winner over a stone in weight, yet still closed. THE WOLF is now rated 139 which is about right but with the more experience he is getting, the better he is getting and this type of race is just made for him. E/W.
CHIRICO VALLIS is a huge price given this is the only horse JP McManus has running up at Ayr over the 2 days of the festival. He is a horse who likes to remain prominent, he jumps very well and if he can get into a nice rhythm he could be hard to peg back. Back at the start of the season CHIRICO VALLIS beat Kitty’s Light at Chepstow on good ground yet he is 11/2 and our selection is much bigger. He clearly likes decent ground and he also likes extreme distances. He was not stopping over 3m 5f at Warwick back in January and that was on soft ground. He came home 3rd that day to Eclair Surf (2nd since in the Eider) and in 2nd that day was Gericault Roque who so nearly won the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, coming home 2nd. That piece of form looks solid as back in 4th that day was Corach Rambler who actually won the Ultima Handicap Chase.
I think CHIRICO VALLIS is the forgotten horse here and on a mark of 135 he could still be well handicapped. He has clearly been targeted at this race all season and I am expecting a big run.