Scottish Grand National 2017: Timeform’s runner-by-runner guide

Scottish Grand National
Ayr
Saturday 22nd April, 15:55

1. MISSED APPROACH (/Warren Greatrex)
Good second on final start over hurdles at this meeting last year and just as good switched to fences this term, though not all been plain sailing. Beat Label des Obeaux in heavy-ground novice at in January and bounced back at 50/1 in first-time cheekpieces when second to Tiger Roll on better ground in Chase at last time. Chances if reproducing last run.

2. VIVALDI COLLONGES (/)
Showed smart form last term, winning three of his four starts including novice handicap on this card. Badly out of sorts this campaign, however, and still plenty high enough in the weights.

3. FINE RIGHTLY (Andrew Lynch/Henry de Bromhead)
Three-time course winner earlier in career. In top form last season, winning three times and finishing third at 33/1 in Irish . Not at best this term, albeit facing stiff tasks on occasions, and found little when last seen at in January. Doubts about trip too, so hard to recommend.

4. KRUZHLININ (Richard Johnson/Philip Hobbs)
Came good in Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle at in November, suited by stamina test. Creditable second back over fences at next start, but let down by jumping in latter stages of Trial at last time and not up to scratch in that department both tries in itself in past seasons.

5. VICENTE (/)
Back on same mark as when winning this as a novice last year. Yet to fire this season and got no further than first in fortnight ago, but not complete surprise if showing more here as long as jumping holds up.

6. ARPEGE D'ALENE (/)
Proving as good over fences this term as he was over hurdles. Had only one other finisher to beat in novice at in November but run well since in much more competitive affairs, including when fourth to Tiger Roll in Chase at last time, despite going in snatches. Trip no problem.

7. SELDOM INN (/Sandy Thomson)
Made a better go of chasing this season with two wins at , though took advantage of off-days from smart rivals Tenor Nivernais and Le Mercurey in listed event last month. Still in good heart but not entirely satisfactory performance when second to Yala Enki in handicap at same course last time. Raced mainly around 3m.

8. BATTLE OF SHILOH (/Tom George)
Winner of both Irish points before also winning both starts over hurdles and first two starts over fences in novice handicaps at and . Beaten when falling in similar event at when last seen in January. Staying type with very unexposed profile but more on his plate here.

9. SOUTHFIELD ROYALE (/Neil Mulholland)
Smart novice chaser last season, winning twice, chasing home Tea For Two in Kauto Star at and fourth to Minella Rocco in Chase at . Looked rusty on belated return in January but was showing more when falling in Kim Muir at last time. Potentially well treated, so not one to write off.

10. DANCING SHADOW (/Victor Dartnall)
Improved over fences this season, winning at and following up over 4m+ at in February. Out-and-out stayer, but lazy streak resurfaced in Chase at last time and not one to put too much faith in.

11. PREMIER BOND (/Nicky Henderson)
No disgrace in finding stablemate Might Bite too good on chasing debut and won novices at and next two starts. Another good effort when staying-on third in Kim Muir on handicap debut at last time. Unexposed over fences and ground should be in favour, so makes plenty of appeal, particularly up in trip.

12. STRAIDNAHANNA (/Sue Smith)
Stays well as he showed when winning under good ride over 3m6f at in January and has had excuses both starts since, trip too short in Topham at last time. Found this too competitive when pulled up last year, however.

13. SHOTGUN PADDY (/Emma Lavelle)
Thorough stayer, though fences often get in way. On long losing run since winning Classic Chase at in early 2014, though third in latest renewal behind winner One For Arthur and filled same position behind Mysteree in Eider at last time. Never on terms in this last year.

14. BENBENS (Zac Baker/Nigel Twiston-Davies)
Came off worst in three-way finish to 2015 Scottish National and won veterans event at in autumn of same year. 50/1 and amateur ridden when returning from over a year off in last month's Midlands National at , shaping as though retaining some ability before pulled up. Not badly handicapped on old form, but others with more solid claims.

15. LESSONS IN MILAN (Jeremiah McGrath/Nicky Henderson)
Useful over hurdles and shown same level of ability without getting head in front so far over fences. Placed in couple of novice handicaps at but not looked straightforward on other occasions, including in Kim Muir at last time.

16. AL CO (/Peter Bowen)
Surprise winner of this from out of handicap in 2014 and had dropped in weights when gaining first win since at last May. Still not badly treated on old form, though last couple of starts in veterans' events don't suggest a repeat win is on the cards.

17. ANOTHER HERO (/Jonjo O'Neill)
Not had much over fences, winning first two starts last season before falling in Irish National. Good efforts in frame in Silver Cup at and Sky Bet Chase at during winter and last run in Kim Muir probably best overlooked after being hampered. Stamina to prove but one to consider.

18. HENRI PARRY MORGAN (/Peter Bowen)
Has failed to confirm promise of second place in last year's Mildmay Novices' at when splitting Native River and Blaklion, largely as a result of some less than fluent jumping this season. Bred to stay well, though, and coming down weights so potential to surprise for stable that's won this before if putting it all together.

19. VINTAGE CLOUDS (/Sue Smith)
Useful novice over hurdles last season and reached similar level over fences this term without getting head in front. Looked suited by longer trip when third behind Vieux Lion Rouge and Blaklion in Trial at and was keeping on when falling two out in Ultima Handicap at last time. May need it softer.

20. SUGAR BARON (/Nicky Henderson)
Novice who's already proving better over fences than he was over hurdles. Winner at on chasing debut last May and has been shaping as though this sort of trip will suit, latterly when sixth after getting behind in Kim Muir at . One for the shortlist.

21. BLAKEMOUNT (/Sue Smith)
Useful stayer whose two wins over fences have come at , latter one a handicap in February. Creditable fifth in Midlands National at last time despite a few mistakes and needs a career-best to get closer here.

22. FIREBIRD FLYER (Tom O'Brien/)
Out-and-out, if error-prone, stayer who was fortunate winner of last year's Midlands National. Badly out of sorts at present, though, cheekpieces failing to spark revival in latest Midlands National and no better over hurdles last time.

23. DAWSON CITY (/Polly Gundry)
Second season over fences and got off mark in three-finisher contest at last time when left clear. Stays well and on a good mark, but up in grade and raced mainly on soft/heavy going in recent seasons.

24. TRUSTAN TIMES (/Mark Walford)
Close third in this from out of handicap in 2014 but didn't jump well enough twelve months later on final start for . Only two runs since over hurdles for new yard and took advantage of lower mark at last time but more on plate back over fences.

25. PORTRAIT KING (Connor O'Farrell/Patrick Griffin)
Eider winner back in 2012 and a regular in long-distance chases, though only one win since (early-2015). Fared surprisingly well from out of handicap when third in Topham at last time, staying on strongly for third over trip well short of best.

26. COGRY (Jamie Bargary/Nigel Twiston-Davies)
In touch when falling in closing stages of this two years ago and jumping let him down in major way early this season. Won over hurdles at in January and creditable efforts back over fences of late, second at last Sunday.

27. ALVARADO (/Fergal O'Brien)
Good record in spring Nationals in past, twice fourth at and runner-up to Vicente in this last year. Likely to have had this as main target again and meets Vicente on better terms, but opposable for win purposes nowadays.

28. GONE TOO FAR (Michael Heard/David Pipe)
Winner three times over fences for Alan King, including early this season, though jumping/temperament tend to let him down. New yard experimented with headgear and longer trips but without success and hard to make a case for, especially over this far.

29. FATHER EDWARD (/David Pipe)
Having first start for current stable when off mark over fences in handicap at last summer but has gone wrong way since, never figuring in Kim Muir and Topham on last two starts.

30. MAN WITH VAN (Adam Short/Patrick Griffin)
On a lengthy losing run and didn't offer much on debut for new yard at in February. Cheekpieces back on now switched back to chasing but is hard to recommend.

31. FULL JACK (Reserve/Pauline Robson)
Ran creditably in a couple of 3m handicap hurdles at this winter but otherwise generally campaigned over fences. Remains on same mark in this sphere though, so frame claims once more.

Scottish 1-2-3

1. Southfield Royale
2. Premier Bond
3. Sugar Baron

Analyst's Verdict:
SOUTHFIELD ROYALE arrives fresh after just 2 outings this term and is worth a chance to atone for his fall in the Kim Muir at as he remains potentially well treated on his novice form of last season. The Nicky Henderson pair Premier Bond and Sugar Baron promise to be well suited by this marathon trip, while Vicente is on the same mark as when winning 12 months ago.

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