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Go Dutch for Scottish National treat


In form: Tristan Davidson

In form: Tristan Davidson


In form: Tristan Davidson

An English horse called The Dutchman could emerge a victorious invader in tomorrow's Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

There is a notably strong home challenge in this year's typically competitive renewal of the marathon.

But the one big-priced contender who could be lurking is The Dutchman, whose letter-heavy form figures are not immediately enticing but they are misleading in that he is nowhere near as bad a jumper as they imply.

Trained in Cumbria by the in-form Tristan Davidson, the 11-year-old was being targeted at this race 12 months ago until coronavirus caused its cancellation.

He was still travelling fine when unseating on the second circuit in the 2018 Grand National and, after a long break, has run just four times since switching to current connections.

The Dutchman was a head second in a good veterans' handicap at Haydock, was then in front when falling four out in a Grade Three at Wetherby and still very much in contention before exiting Newcastle's Eider Chase.

The pick of the day at Ayr, Tamaroc Du Mathan, can double his Grade Two tally with victory in the Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices' Chase.

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Paul Nicholls' Pendil winner has been beaten only by the imperious Shishkin in his three novice-chase starts and appears to have plenty in his favour tomorrow.

The lightly-raced six-year-old is set to face a stern test against likely favourite Allmankind and two other very useful rivals.

But whereas Dan Skelton's front-runner is taking a shot at this trip of an extended two and a half miles as an alternative after failing to handle Shishkin in the Arkle, Tamaroc Du Mathan has already demonstrated that it suits him perfectly.

Both were beaten almost exactly the same distance by Nicky Henderson's unbeaten chaser, and three-time Grade One winner, off level weights but on separate occasions this season.

Tamaroc Du Mathan, who had opened his account with an easy handicap win at Wincanton in November, was put in his place in the Wayward Lad Novices' Chase at Kempton over Christmas.

But up in trip at the same course in February, he was well-supported and duly dominated what was a decent four-runner field.

Nicholls, who has kept him to largely flat tracks, was not tempted by Cheltenham.

He also sidestepped Aintree last week in favour of this assignment and, although Tamaroc Du Mathan has raced almost exclusively on right-handed tracks in just eight career starts over hurdles and fences, he outran odds of 50/1 to be beaten under two lengths in a big handicap at Newbury last year.

This weekend's forecast good ground should be perfect for him.

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