VINTAGE CLOUDS will aim for redemption in tomorrow’s wide-open Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr, a week after his huge Aintree disappointment.
The Sue Smith-trained grey was a popular choice for the Grand National last weekend but fell at the first fence on Merseyside.
Vintage Clouds had previously chased home Nicky Henderson’s Beware The Bear in last month’s Ultima Handicap at Cheltenham, and the pair will renew their rivalry tomorrow, the Festival victor shouldering top weight.
Dingo Dollar and Big River head the sponsor’s betting for the race at 8/1, ahead of Beware The Bear at 9/1. Vintage Clouds is a 10/1 chance, along with Crosshue Boy.
‘Unlike last weekend’s Grand National market, which was dominated in the build-up by one horse, the betting for this year’s Coral Scottish Grand National is wide open,’ said Coral’s David Stevens. ‘Any one of the first six or seven in the list could be sent off favourite for what is always one of the highest turnover betting races of the year.’
Wonderful Winx ready for farewell
AUSTRALIAN wonder horse Winx is all set for her anticipated swansong this weekend, despite providing a touch of pre-race drama after her final gallop.
Chris Waller’s all-conquering mare, who has captured the attention of the racing world, will bid for her 33rd successive victory — and 25th Group One — when she runs in what is expected to be the last race of her record-breaking career at Randwick tomorrow.
The seven-year-old caused connections brief consternation, though, when she kicked out at railings — leaving a hole in an advertising hoarding — after her Rosehill track exercise yesterday.
She later had to be cleared by veterinary checks and a statement said: ‘Winx was free in her action and no abnormalities were detected. As a result the mare has been passed fit to start on Saturday.’
Waller explained: ‘As you can see, she’s a horse — they’re unpredictable — but she’s very well, very fresh, very bright, ready to go. Hopefully it’s a fairytale ending.’
Al Boum Photo set for Punchestown clash with Kemboy
CHELTENHAM Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo could face a mouth-watering meeting with Kemboy after both appeared among 22 entries for the Coral Punchestown Gold Cup.
Trainer of both horses, Willie Mullins, is happy for the two to face each other again on May 1. Kemboy got no further than the first fence in last month’s Gold Cup, but bounced back with a dominant display at Aintree last week.
Tip of the day
Blonde Warrior, 3.40, Newbury
Tomorrow’s big race
3.35 CORAL SCOTTISH GRAND NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE 3) (Class 1) 4m £215,000 (28 entries)
– -411 BEWARE THE BEAR 32 N Henderson 9-11-12 J McGrath (B)
– – 20P SIZING CODELCO 32 C Tizzard 10-11-4 H Cobden
– 1P2F VINTAGE CLOUDS 7 Mrs S Smith 9-11-1 D Cook
– 1112 BLUE FLIGHT 21 N Twiston-Davies 6-11-0 C Bewley
– 4362 DINGO DOLLAR 42 A King 7-10-13 W Hutchinson (P)
– 14P1 CAROLE’S DESTRIER 42 N Mulholland 11-10-9 R T Dunne (P)
– 0053 CROSSHUE BOY 8 (C) Sean Doyle (IRE) 9-10-8 S W Flanagan (T)
– 1531 CROSSPARK 49 Mrs C Bailey 9-10-8 H Skelton
– 2610 COGRY 91 (BF) N Twiston-Davies 10-10-6S Twiston-Davies (P)
– 451U SKIPTHECUDDLES 32 G McPherson 8-10-6 Kielan Woods (V)
– -F64 BIG RIVER 32 (C) Miss L Russell 9-10-6 Derek Fox (T)
– 125U RED INFANTRY 56 I Williams 9-10-6T J O’Brien (P)
– -21P IMPULSIVE STAR 32 N Mulholland 9-10-5 Mr S Waley-Cohen (3) (P)
– 401P ARTHUR’S GIFT 28 N Twiston-Davies 8-10-3 T Bellamy
– 14-6 KINGSWELL THEATRE 31 M Scudamore 10-10-3 B Poste (P)
– 3103 BRIAN BORANHA 42 P Niven 8-10-1 H Brooke
– 2361 TAKINGRISKS 27 (C) N Richards 10-10-1 S Quinlan (P)
–311 CLOTH CAP 141 Jonjo O’Neill 7-10-0 R McLernon
– 5311 CHIDSWELL 42 (C) N Richards 10-10-0 Craig Nichol
– P002 MYSTEREE 49 (C) M Scudamore 11-10-0 B J Powell (B)
– 3114 BEAU DU BRIZAIS 42 P Hobbs 7-10-0 James Best
– 0U01 RATHLIN ROSE 13 D Pipe 11-10-0 T Scudamore (B)
– 1434 ACDC 42 (C) C Grant 9-10-0 P Brennan (H,T)
– 5601 CHIC NAME 21 Richard Hobson 7-10-0 Jonathan Burke (T)
– 3121 GERONIMO 83 (C) A M Thomson 8-10-0 Rachel McDonald (5)
– 2132 MORNEY WING 26 C Mann 10-10-0 R Dingle (5) (P,T)
– -005 DOING FINE 120 N Mulholland 11-10-0 Sean Bowen (P,T)
– 0432 VAN GOGH DU GRANIT 13 D Pipe 10-10-0 D G Noonan (B)
Betting: 8 Dingo Dollar, Big River, 9 Beware The Bear, 10 Vintage Clouds, Crosshue Boy, 14 Cloth Cap, Geronimo, 16 Crosspark, Doing Fine, Impulsive Star, 18 Carole’s Destrier, 20 Blue Flight, Brian Boranha, Chic Name, Chidswell, 22 Cogry, 25 others
■ RICHARD HANNON’S Boitron will face nine rivals in the absence of Too Darn Hot in tomorrow’s highly competitive Greenham Stakes at Newbury. John Gosden’s 2,000 Guineas favourite Too Darn Hot was due to go off at prohibitive odds until he was pulled out on Wednesday.
■ BYE BYE HONG KONG, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, claimed victory in yesterday’s Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes at Chelmsford. All eyes were on U S S Michigan as he attempted to book his place in next month’s Kentucky Derby, but he finished fourth.
■ DOUVAN could make his return from injury for the Champion Chase at the Punchestown Festival. The nine-year-old has been very unlucky with injuries over the past couple of seasons and has not raced since he was second in the same race last year.
■ 9 — Races to be televised by ITV tomorrow afternoon — five from Ayr, including the Coral Scottish Grand National, and four from Newbury