This weekend’s Scottish National promises to be an exciting race with a number of top horses in action
Philip Hobbs, still smarting from his narrow defeat with What’s Up Boys in the Grand National at Aintree, is on course for compensation in the Scottish equivalent at Ayr on Saturday when he saddles Gunther McBride and Enrique.
Gunther McBride, runaway winner of the Racing Post Chase at Kempton, disappointed at Cheltenham last time, but Hobbs believes he is better on a flat track.
“I think Ayr will suit him better than Cheltenham where Richard Johnson reported that he kept feeling as if he was going to land on his head when they were jumping the downhill fences,” explained the Somerset trainer.
Carbury Cross, the Scottish National favourite, beat Enrique at Aintree, but it may be worth taking a chance that Enrique will improve over this extended four miles.
“We don’t know how he will measure up to the trip because he has never raced beyond three miles,” said Hobbs. “But he was certainly staying on well when he was second to Carbury Cross.”
The field is full of dangers, principally Tony McCoy’s mount Cyfor Malta and Grey Abbey, who has been laid out for the race.
Paris Pike, the Scottish National winner two years ago, and Marlborough, both first fence fallers in the GrandNational a fortnight ago, will be out to make amends for their early exits. But Enrique could be the pick of the bunch this time.
Action from Newbury
At Newbury Mick Channon’s flying filly Queen’s Logic should enhance her prospects of winning next month’s 1000 Guineas at Newmarket by maintaining her unbeaten record in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes.
Sir Michael Stoute’s string is in great form and Bragadino should further strengthen the Newmarket trainer’s classic hand by outpointing the John Gosden-trained Foreign Accent in the Lanes End Greenham Stakes.
Pat Eddery is poised for a lucrative double on board John Dunlop’s Water Jump in the John Porter Stakes and Thihn in the Spring Cup.
Read more about the 2002 Grand National: