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Big River is the choice on current form to land Scottish National

It is Coral Scottish Grand National day at Ayr, and Big River is fancied to claim a popular home victory in the feature event. (stock photo)
It is Coral Scottish Grand National day at Ayr, and Big River is fancied to claim a popular home victory in the feature event. (stock photo)

By Ashley Iveson

It is Coral Scottish Grand National day at Ayr, and Big River is fancied to claim a popular home victory in the feature event.

Trained north of the border by Lucinda Russell, this nine-year-old looked to be going nowhere fast in the Ultima Handicap Chase at last month's Cheltenham Festival, but came from the clouds to finish fourth. If he can tidy up his jumping and keep himself in touch early on, the test here should be right up his street.

Nicky Henderson's Verdana Blue can rediscover the winning trail in the CPMS Scottish Champion Hurdle.

The seven-year-old caused one of the shocks of the season when denying esteemed stablemate Buveur D'Air in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day, and she was not disgraced in finishing fifth in the Champion Hurdle last month, considering conditions were against her.

Back on a flat track and good ground under a talented 7lb claimer, Verdana Blue can erase memories of a lacklustre performance in this race last year.

AYR: 1.25 Mixboy, 1.55 Molly The Dolly, 2.25 Verdana Blue, 3.00 Castafiore, 3.35 Big River, 4.10 Rather Be, 4.45 Stowaway Magic, 5.20 Mam Trasna.

BANGOR: 2.15 Pique Rock, 2.45 Flemens Story, 3.20 Le Coeur Net, 3.55 Wazowski, 4.30 Overawed, 5.05 Nimby.

NAAS: 1.50 Red Epaulette, 2.20 Value Chain, 2.50 Mistress Of Venice, 3.25 Aspen Belle, 4.00 Imaging, 4.35 Magical, 5.10 Halimi, 5.45 Ciao.

NEWBURY: 1.40 Young Rascal, 2.10 SO PERFECT (NAP), 2.40 Mohaather, 3.15 Chatez, 3.50 Fifth Position, 4.25 Roseman, 5.00 Space Walk, 5.35 Military Law.

THIRSK: 2.00 War Of Clans, 2.30 Dazzling Des, 3.05 Musharrif, 3.40 Desert Ruler, 4.15 Leodis Dream, 4.50 Vanbrugh, 5.25 Beautiful Gesture, 5.55 Piazon.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 6.00 Gottardo, 6.30 Cappananty Con, 7.00 Muatadel, 7.30 Traveller, 8.00 Rich Cummins, 8.30 Message.

DOUBLE: So Perfect and Mohaather.

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