Nicky Henderson’s Dusart will head a field of 23 in Saturday’s Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
A winner at the meeting last season when he beat the smart Sounds Russian, he has had an interrupted campaign this year, only running twice.
He will attempt to carry 12st to victory, 7lb more than the nearest in the weights – Paul Nicholls’ Threeunderthrufive who finished a creditable eighth behind subsequent Grand National winner Corach Rambler in the Ultima at Cheltenham.
There has been plenty of money through the week for Jonjo O’Neill’s Monbeg Genius as he finished third in the UItima, a little over two lengths behind the impressive winner.
Corach Rambler’s trainer Lucinda Russell is bidding for a Grand National double with Your Own Story and Mighty Thunder, who won the race in 2021.
Sandy Thomson’s Empire Steel and Flower Of Scotland, Nick Alexander’s Elvis Mail, Stuart Coltherd’s Cooper’s Cross and Iain Jardine’s Half Shot are others trying to keep the prize in Scotland.
Last year’s contest was won by the Christian Williams-trained mare Win My Wings, now retired, but behind her in second was stablemate Kitty’s Light and he is back in a bid to go one better and add to the Eider Chase he won in February.
Gavin Cromwell, who went so close to winning the Aintree National with Vanillier, sends over Malina Girl with Liz Doyle’s Flash De Touzaine and John Ryan’s Waitnsee other Irish contenders.
“Although we don’t have a full field of 30 for this year’s Coral Scottish Grand National, we do have a fiercely competitive renewal that will once again ensure the race features prominently in the highest turnover list come year end,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“Kitty’s Light remains favourite to go one place better than 12 months ago, but only just, with Monbeg Genius the best-backed horse this week.”