quentincollonges 300x200 photoScottish National 2013 Preview

Aintree Grand National Aurora’s Encore could attempt to be the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win both the English and Scottish National in the same season. Sue Smith’s 11-year-old was a 66-1 outsider when winning at Liverpool and has been given an 11lb rise for his famous victory. Connections are hoping that conditions stay dry this week as he is a far better horse on good ground.

 

Even if he does have conditions in his favour, it will be asking a lot to defy 11st 12lb on Saturday. The ante-post favourite is Rival D’Estruval who fell two out in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when in with every chance. Whilst that run gives him a clear chance here, there must be a risk that his confidence has been jolted by the fall and he looks short enough at 6-1. Godsmejudge finished third that day for Alan King and he looks capable of running into a place again here.

 

Always Right looked to have finally put his breathing problems behind him when winning at Kelso and he has been well supported this week. He tends to travel easily into his races but does not always find as much as you would think in the closing stages. Donald McCain suffered a frustrating time at Aintree this year and his hopes rest with Our Mick, second at the Cheltenham festival in March. He could run a big race along with the lowly weighted White Star Line, trained by Dessie Hughes in Ireland.

 

However, the one to be on could be Quentin Collonges at 12-1, the winner of a valuable handicap at Doncaster last time out. The grey made most of the running that day and his style of racing is well suited to a race like the Scottish National. He was made to fight for his victory when challenged at the last by Mr Moss but pulled out extra for a game victory. There should be little between the pair again on Saturday and Mr Moss is also respected. He is trained by Evan Williams who saddled Cappa Bleu to finish second at Aintree, the fifth consecutive season that he has had a runner placed in the National. At 20-1 it may be worth having a saver on Mr Moss.

Tipster’s Best Tips

Quentin Collonges 12-1 @ Bet365

Mr Moss 20-1 @ William Hill