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Saturday, April 16, 2005


For the latest best odds, go to www.britodds.com

BP= the best price available at the time of writing


2:45pm £60,000 Samsung Electronics Scottish Champion Hurdle Limited Handicap 2m

1) 7740 Rigmarole Paul Nicholls 7-11-10t Ruby Walsh
Good performer at his best but has been disappointing this season. BP= 20/1

2) 4430 Royal Shakespeare Steve Gollings 6-11-8 Robert Thornton
Useful sort and usually consistent though outclassed in the Champion Hurdle last time out. First run in a handicap. BP= 13/2

3) 8068 Geos Nicky Henderson 10-11-5 Mick Fitzgerald
Veteran hurdler who has been running better than his form figures suugest.Eighth of 30 in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and has dropped 2lb for this. BP= 33/1

4) 5538 The French Furze Nicky Richards 11-11-4 Brian Harding
Well beaten fourth in this to Copeland last year and off a similar mark, there is not a lot of hope. BP= 25/1

5) 0204 Copeland Martin Pipe 10-11-1p Tom Malone(5)
Won this race last year and ran well at Aintree last week. Could run a sound race again though this is a tougher contest. His excellent rider’s claim will be useful. BP= 11/1

6) 7130 Dalaram Howard Johnson 5-10-11t Graham Lee
Hasnot run since February but Howard Johnson is good at getting them ready in circumstances like this. Fair sort on his daybut could be a bit high in the handicap.

BP= 8/1

7) 6111 Genghis Peter Bowen 6-10-11 Tony McCoy
Completed a hat-trick atAintreelast week over two and a half miles but this is his toughest test off his highest-ever handicap mark. BP= 11/4

8) 8120 Fontanesi Martin Pipe 5-10-10 Timmy Murphy
Won the County Hurdle at Cheltenham but beaten twice since. May need a stiffer course. BP= 12/1

9) 130F Mondul Milton Harris 5-10-9 Seamus Durack
Has struggled this season in hurdles - won a novice chase - and has plenty to do. BP= 66/1

10) 1080 Calatagan Malcolm Jefferson 6-10-4 Richard Johnson
Does not look good enough. BP= 33/1

11) F-05 Demi Beau Charlie Mann 7-10-4 Noel Fehily
Does not look good enough. BP= 20/1

12) 171F Liberty Seeker Peter Monteith 6-10-4 Tony Dobbin
Does not look good enough. BP= 18/1

13) 1-10 Far Pavilions 35 (10F) Alan Swinbank 6-10-4 Jim Crowley
Useful sort but races from out of the handicap. Found the ground too soft last time over hurdles. BP= 7/2

It is worth opposing the front two in the betting - they are at very short odds. Copeland looks the value each-way while the other veteran Geos is also excellent value for a saver.

CODEBREAKER for every Saturday

formerly in the Racing Post Weekender



Past Trends

all of the last 18 winners were placed in the first three at least once earlier in the campaign

all of the last 18 winners have won over three miles at some stage of their career

14 of the last 18 winners carried 11st 2lb or less to victory

9 of the last 18 winners were eight or nine-years-old, including five of the eight most recent scorers

Just a week after Hedgehunter was successful in another thrilling John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree, attention this weekend switches to north of the border where the Scottish equivalent, the Gala Casinos Daily Record Scottish Grand National, takes centre stage at Ayr.

Past winners of this four mile one furlong handicap chase have included some high-class staying chasers.

Since the contest was relocated in 1966 from Bogside to Ayr some notable victors include Red Rum, trained by Ginger McCain, in 1974, Little Polveir 13 years later, Earth Summit in 1994 and Grey Abbey last season.

Three of these winners also scored in the Grand National at Aintree during the course of their racing careers - Red Rum on three occasions in 1973, 1974 and 1977, Little Polveir in 1989 and most recently, Earth Summit in 1998.

Since 1987 every single winner of the Scottish contest had been placed in the first three at some time earlier in the season.

Of the 23 declared runners, Hussard Collonges, Gingembre, A Piece Of Cake and Supreme Glory are immediately discounted as none of this quartet have managed to finish in the first three during 2004/5.

A horse with plenty of stamina is required to win a Scottish Grand National. The last 18 successful horses in the race had all previously won over three miles at some stage of their career. Joes Edge has not won at three miles and he is eliminated.

Fourteen of the last 18 winners carried 11st 2lb or less to victory. The four exceptions were Young Kenny (11st 10lb) in 1999, Belmont King (11st 10lb) in 1997, Run For Free (11st 10lb) in 1993 and Grey Abbey (11st 12lb).

Top-weight on 11st 12lb Take The Stand will have difficulties overcoming this burden and he disappears from the reckoning.

Nine of the last 18 winners were eight or nine-years-old, including five of the eight most recent scorers.

Six-year-old Comply Or Die and seven-year-olds Double Honour, Control Man and Another Rum are all eliminated, together with 10-year-olds Chives, The Bajan Bandit and Kerry Lads and veterans Legal Right and Smarty, a pair both aged 12.

Eleven of the last 18 winners were relatively fancied, being returned at 12/1 or less, including seven of the last eight.

Stormez, Iris Bleu, Colourful Life, Malek and Lord Jack are all priced at least 14/1 with and they are disqualified.

14 of the last 18 winners of this great race raced before April on their previous start. Longshanks raced only last Friday at Aintree and these exertions are expected to take their toll.

This leaves Codebreaker with the choice between Philson Run and Cornish Rebel.

It is not easy deciding which to favour but a horse from out of the handicap has not won since 1998, Philson Run, winner of the Midlands Grand National, in March is 5lb wrong and therefore has more to do than CORNISH REBEL.

Cornish Rebel, Best Mate’s brother, came third in the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham last month and will be suited by this longer distance and the good ground.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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