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Brian Hughes aboard Innisfree Lad for Scottish Grand National

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Brian Hughes aboard Innisfree Lad for Scottish Grand National


Innisfree Lad came in third in the Borders National earlier this season and he will be partnered with Brian Hughes at the 2022 Coral Scottish Grand National this weekend, the champion elect jockey bidding to win the race for the first time in his career.

David Dennis will be more than happy to have secured the services of Brian Hughes for the 2022 Coral Scottish Grand National at 3:35pm on Saturday, 2nd April 2022. Hughes has a massive lead in the race to win the jockeys’ championship a second time, however he has yet to win the Scottish National.

Dennis is optimistic about the chances of Innisfree Lad performing well in the four-mile handicap contest and describes him as a “good each-way chance”. Hughes knows this runner extremely well having partnered him on six previous occasions with a single win during this time.

He said: “I spoke to his agent and said we’d be mad keen for him to ride if he was available.

“Thankfully, he rang at the five-day stage and said Brian was available so he can ride him.”

The handler is happy that the weights for the race have been raised 10lb as this leaves Innisfree Lad on 10st 11lb.

He said: “The weights went up 10lb at the five-day stage so he’s got 10st 11lb now which brings him into the handicap nicely.

“His third in the Eider puts him hopefully bang in there with a good each-way chance.”

Innisfree Lad is clearly happy at longer distances, as proven when he came in third in the Borders National at the end of last year in softer ground.

Dennis continued: “He’s quite versatile, but he doesn’t want heavy ground. It was a bit annoying in Kelso’s Borders National. It rained heavily the night before, but he still ran an absolute cracker in that.

“It was just too soft for him in an ideal world. Good to soft, soft would be fine, but if it was heavy I wouldn’t be sure he’d run. They are currently good to soft which is perfect.”