Gallant Oscar Favourite For Saturday`s Scottish Grand National

Scottish Grand National

Horse Racing
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Published: 16/04/2015

The final field of 30 for the Scottish Grand National has been confirmed with Gallant Oscar leading the way at the head of the betting. The Tony Martin charge is available at 10/1 (betfred, Skybet, Totesport) to finish the first past the post upon the completion of the 4m Ayr trip.

Flitting between hurdles and chases, Gallant Oscar is a versatile and trustworthy mount and something of an expert at these longer endurance tests. The nine-year-old twice shipped his jockey last season - including unseating his rider Davy Condon in the Irish Grand National - though jumping has been an aspect of his all round game that has been honed by his handler. He has completed each test set this season.

Whilst Gallant Oscar has been able to secure places in all of the races he has lined up in this season (these including three hurdles challenges and two chases) he does have more than a little trouble with favouritism. The horse finished runner-up when favourite in two 23f hurdles races before only managing fourth in the 25f Grade A Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park when the 3/1 market leader. Martin will be hoping to prove that his charge isn`t just a nearly horse and will be looking to overturn the stat that shows no winning favourite in the Scottish National since 2000.

Hot on his heels in the betting is Broadway Buffalo following his runners-up place in the amateur and conditional jockeys race at the Cheltenham Festival. At seven-years-old the David Pipe charge falls just outside of the usual age range for a Scottish National winner (all but one of the last 13 winners have been aged from 8 to 11) but his athletic and promising performance in this listed race has put him in contention for Ayr success. His jockey in that race Katie Walsh, who would`ve been looking to seal back-to-back Nationals after her triumph in Ireland, looks to have been replaced by stable jockey Tom Scudamore. The horse can be backed at 12/1 (betfred, Skybet, Stan James, Totesport).

Sego Success is a 14/1 shout with betfred, Skybet and Totesport. Another seven-year-old, this son of Beneficial finished in fifth in that Cheltenham listed race though his chances of glory were scotched by some weak jumping. The Alan King horse does have over 18 lengths to find on Broadway Buffalo but will not be on level terms with him this time around. The novice is somewhat better suited to much smaller fields and this might be something of a culture shock for him.

Paul Nicholls` Sam Winner is expected to carry top weight in the Scottish National but forewent the Aintree Grand National to appear in this event. The eight-year-old has failed to build on his initial victory on his seasonal debut, though what a win that was. A 27f Grade Three handicap at Cheltenham, Sam Winner saw off both Grade Three Festival winner The Druids Nephew and Grand National runner-up Saint Are to take the top spot despite carrying a burden of 11st 12lbs. He is another available at 14/1 at Stan James.

Elsewhere, AP McCoy`s final Scottish Grand National ride will be on Benvolio - a 14/1 shot at most bookmakers. Al Co`s fall at the first in Aintree`s Grand National means that he is able to defend his Scottish National crown on Saturday at the best price of 16/1 (Numerous).

At bigger prices betfred Eider one, two Milborough (16/1 - Numerous) and Summery Justice (33/1 - Numerous) line up as does Ulster National winner Man With Van (33/1 - Numerous).

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