The mighty Denman heads the weights for the Coral Scottish Grand National on Saturday 17 April at Ayr Racecourse, as Paul Nicholls attempts to land a top end of season prize with the Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up.
The horse known as ‘The Tank’ and winner of more than £1 million in prize money has been allocated 11st 12 lbs, with the second highest rated Madison du Berlais from the David Pipe yard set to carry 10st 1lb.
Notable contenders from further down the handicap include the Haydock Blue Square Gold Cup winner Silver By Nature (10st) from the Lucinda Russell yard vying to become the first Scottish trained winner of the race since Cockle Strand in 1982, the Cheltenham RSA Chase runner-up Burton Point (9st 10lbs) and the Cheltenham William Hill Trophy winner and runner-up Chief Dan George (9st 6lbs) and The Package (9st 5lbs).
Ferdy Murphy has entered another Cheltenham victor - National Hunt Chase winner Poker de Sivola (8st 10lbs) and Faasel just touched off in the Kim Muir in the Cotswolds is a pound higher in the weights.
But it is the Denman entry that will attract all the attention, and although Paul Nicholls has five other entries including likely John Smith’s Grand National runner Big Fella Thanks, indications are that the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and 2009 and 2010 runner-up will line up in the £200,000 race.
Ayr Racecourse marketing manager Lindsey Smith commented: “What a great boost it is for the Coral Scottish Grand National that Denman is amongst the entries. It underlines the standing the race has in the racing calendar, and if Paul Nicholls does declare him it will create an unprecedented interest in the race.”
Advance ticket sales are well ahead of last year and can be booked by calling 01292-264179 or by going online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk with special discounts available for those booked seven or more days before the meeting.
Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
2-6 Whitletts Road
Tel: 01292 264179
Fax: 01292 610140