2021 Scottish Grand National: We look at the big weekend racing event north of the border

2021 Scottish Grand National

Following the excitement of the Aintree Grand National last weekend, the action moves north of the border on Sunday, 18th April when the rescheduled 2021 Scottish Grand National gets underway at 3:35pm. This showpiece event is the feature race of the two-day meeting at Ayr Racecourse and it has been moved back from its usual slot on Saturday afternoon due to the funeral of Prince Philip which takes place at a similar time.


The 2021 Randox Grand National took place behind closed doors on Saturday afternoon, however there was no lacking in terms of excitement when Rachael Blackmore rode Minella Times to victory, thus becoming the first ever female jockey to win the world-famous steeplechase. Similarly we’re expecting plenty of thrills and spills when the Scottish Grand National gets underway on the west coast of Scotland on Sunday afternoon over a distance of four miles.

This is one of the richest and most popular races in the UK and a line-up of thirty runners will contest the Grade 3 event. Once again there will be no spectators apart from the owners, trainers and racecourse staff, however there will be full coverage of this race on ITV.



About the Scottish Grand National


The Scottish Grand National is without a doubt the biggest horse race north of the border. This event is the feature race of the two-day Scottish Grand National Festival which takes place at Ayr Racecourse in early April. Open to horses ahead five years or more, the Grade 3 race takes place over a distance of a little under four miles and there are 27 fences to be jumped over the course of the contest. This is a handicap race, meaning that each horse carries a different weight which is allocated by an official handicapper.

The race was first contested in 1858 at attack near Houston in Renfrewshire and it moved to the racecourse at Bogside in 1867. Following the closure of Bogside, it moved again to its present location of Ayr in 1966. The prize money for the race (as of 2019) is £122,433 for the winner.


When does it take place?

The 2021 Scottish Grand National takes place at Ayr Racecourse on Sunday 18th April 2021. Start time for the race is 3:35pm


Where can I watch live?

Full coverage of the Scottish Grand National and all other races on the card is provided by ITV and RacingTV


Are there any tickets available?

Due to the continued Covid19 restrictions, there will be no general admittance to Ayr Racecourse during the two-day meeting



Leading Contenders


Aye Right – 11/2

As far as runners are concerned, there would surely be no more popular winner than favourite Ayr Right, trained by Harriet Graham who combines her job as handler with that of being clerk of the course at nearby Hamilton Racecourse. Her stable star was beaten by 2019 Scottish Grand National winner Takingrisks in the Sky Bet Chase at Doncaster in January, however consistency has been solid with this horse and he deserves a big win such as this.

Off a rating of 154, Aye Right subsequently managed third at last month’s Cheltenham festival and he remains at this for this staying handicap chase, most bookies going odds of 11/2 in what is very much a wide open contest.


Sam’s Adventure – 10/1

Sam’s Adventure comes into this on the back of a win in the Eider Chase at Newcastle in late February. The Brian Ellison-trained runner is 8lbs up in the weights for the 2021 Scottish Grand National although in fairness it’s likely that he would prefer the grounder to be on the softer side this weekend.


Soldier Of Love – 10/1

Paul Nicholls will be making the long journey up from Somerset with Soldier Of Love, the trainer having won this contest with Belmont King way back in 1997. Soldier Of Love wasn’t aimed at the National Hunt Chase at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival due to unsuitable ground but following his second-placed finish behind Galvin in a novice chase at Prestbury Park in October, we’re expecting a solid showing from him at Ayr this weekend.

The fact that the weather has been and will continue to be fair bodes extremely well for this runner as he requires a decent surface in order to be seen at his best.