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Will there be a Scottish-trained winner in 2022?
There has been a lot of water under the bridge since the chaotic scenes of the Scottish Grand National of 1891 when there were only two runners and neither of them managed to get past the second fence. The 2022 renewal will – somewhat unusually – take place one week before the more famous Aintree Grand National and we eagerly await the huge field lining up to contest the 27 fences along the 4 mile circuit.
The last three wins of the Scottish Grand National have been trained in three different countries, namely England, Wales and Scotland (no race taking place ion 2020) and despite dominating elsewhere, the Irish have yet to bag a winner in the contest. Since it was moved to the current venue in 1960, this has been a race with an impressive roll of honour, the most notable winner being Red Rum in 1974 just a week after triumphing for a second time at Aintree. Little Polveir and Earth Summit are two others that added the Scottish Grand National to their Aintree successes.
The 2021 renewal of the Scottish Grand National – delayed by 24 hours due to the funeral of Prince Phillip – produced one of the most memorable results in Scottish racing. All-but-one of the first five home in the 2021 Scottish Grand National were Scottish trained with Lucinda Russell taking the main prize with eight-year-old Mighty Thunder. Along with Sandy Thomson-trained Dingo Dollar, they had the finish very much to themselves with another Thomson entry, The Ferry Master finishing fourth and Iain Jardine-trained Cool Mix coming in fifth. Only Irish-trained Mister Fogpatches in third position denied a clean sweep for the Scots.
Many Welsh trainers have enjoyed success in the race and Christian Williams will bid to follow in this rich tradition on Saturday afternoon. The most recent Welsh win was Rebecca Curtis-trained Joe Farrell at 33/1 in 2018 and the Principality also enjoyed success in the earlier years of that decade with Beshabar and Al Co.
This is a hugely competitive race and finding a winner is extremely testing. Indeed this is a contest which Scottish racing should be very proud of and they will once again be looking to dominate and keep the big prize money on home turf.