Scottish Grand National News
The Scottish Grand National is now just a couple of days away and we take a look at the latest developments in the lead-up to the famous steeplechase.
Tom Scudamore to replace Blair Campbell on Mighty Thunder in Scottish National
Just over a week after pulling up Grand National favourite Cloth Cap at Aintree last weekend, Tom Scudamore will be given another shot at glory when he takes over on Mighty Thunder for in-form handler Lucinda Russell in this weekend’s Scottish Grand National. Blair Campbell had been planned for a ride on the 11/1 shot on Sunday afternoon but he has failed in his bid to recover fully from a hand injury sustained during a fall at Kelso last month.
Campbell has an excellent record on Mighty Thunder with the pair landing the longest chase in Scotland, the Edinburgh National, less than two months ago and he has partnered the eight-year-old in all-but-five of his twenty-five starts including each of his seven wins.
Campbell was hugely disappointed at being forced to relinquish the reins to Scudamore although he recognised the danger involved were he to return to the circuit too early. He said: “It would take another fall for it to just break again. It’s only been three and a half weeks and it’s still not properly healed. I was being a bit optimistic thinking I might get back.
“I think he’s got a real chance and although he’ll need to improve again from Uttoxeter, he’s done that nearly every run this season. I’m gutted not to be riding him but if he does go and win or run well, at least there’s a possibility of having a horse for Aintree next year.”
Mighty Thunder followed his heroics in the Edinburgh National by finishing second behind Time To Get Up in the Midlands National and trainer Lucinda Russell recalled how she had decided not to go ahead with a plan to pursue novice chasing with Mighty Thunder. She said: “He wasn’t the most natural jumper to start with. He’s now suddenly got himself into a rhythm. He’s a funny horse, he sometimes throws in the odd bad run as he did at Kelso and he just won’t go.
“I think that’s why the owners particularly like sticking with Blair, who really knows him and understands him. He’s one of those horses that sometimes drops the bridle and you think ‘this isn’t going to work at all’.
“The four miles and three-and-a-half mile races really seem to suit him, he gets into a lovely rhythm. I thought his run at Uttoxeter was very good.”