Junior still in Ayr frame
Early Aintree casualty Junior could bid for swift compensation in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.
The Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival winner was considered by many as a major contender for last weekend’s John Smith’s Grand National, but his race was over by the second fence. Trainer David Pipe reports the nine-year-old to be none the worse and he could make the long journey from Devon to Scotland.
“Junior was an early casualty, departing at the second fence, and as such he doesn’t know he has had a race,” the Pond House handler told www.davidpipe.com.
“We have left him in the Scottish National at Ayr this weekend and he could well participate in that, although he will have to contend with top weight.”
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls landed his first ever Grand National with Neptune Collonges at Aintree and his Harry The Viking, owned by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, is the 6-1 favourite with the sponsors for the Scottish equivalent.
Ruby Walsh fancies his chances on the seven-year-old, who was second to Teaforthree at Cheltenham.
“He ran a cracker to come second in the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival and must have a great chance,” Walsh told www.racinguk.com.
Coral also report money for Scottish trained pair Lie Forrit (12-1 from 16-1) and Abbeybraney (25-1 from 40-1).
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Merigo was a popular ‘home’ winner of Scotland‘s biggest race two years ago, and the money for Lie Forrit and Abbeybraney suggests the prize could be staying north of the border once again, although another proud Scotsman, Sir Alex Ferguson, will be hoping that’s not the case.”
Written by Apr 18th, 2012.on