Mar 30 2012 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
TRAINERS are gearing up some top horses for Scotland’s richest race, the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Ikorodu Road, winner of the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster on March 3 and also a handicap chase at Newbury last Saturday, will be sent on a near 700 mile trip from trainer Matt Sheppard's Herefordshire yard to attempt to capture the big prize.
After landing the Newbury race, connections immediately declared the Coral Scottish Grand National as the target for the improving nine-year-old.
Another horse with the £180,000 race as its priority is the 2010 winner Merigo who came second last year and won last time out over the course earlier this month.
Owner Raymond Anderson Green makes no secret of the fact this is the race he wants to win again and Ecclefechan based trainer Andrew Parker should have the horse with the big white blaze in great condition come April 21.
Scotland's leading trainer Lucinda Russell could saddlerecent acquisition Red Harbour, owned by the Giles family from Ayr, while leading trainers Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Alan King and David Pipe are all likely to have runners.
Clerk of the course, Emma Marley said: “I am looking forward to these exciting chasers coming to Ayr. It will also be good to see some regular trainers and others who have travelled a considerable distance just to have runners at the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.
“The track is in great shape despite a busy season and has had six weeks to recuperate since our last fixture. We are looking ahead to next month.”
The Coral Scottish Grand National Festival is held at Ayr on Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21. To book tickets, call 01292 264179 or go online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk