Scottish Grand National 2018: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

Ayr hosts Saturday's Scottish Grand National, Scotland's most valuable jumps race
Ayr hosts Saturday's Scottish Grand National, Scotland's most valuable jumps race

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Scottish Grand National at Ayr, and pick out their 1-2-3...

"...ran well when fourth in RSA Chase won by Presenting Percy at Cheltenham last time and open to further progress over longer trips."

Timeform on Ballyoptic

1. GOLD PRESENT (Nicky Henderson/ Nico de Boinville)
Won handicap at Newbury and Silver Cup at Ascot, both in December, and had excuses when pulled up in Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham (reportedly broke blood vessel) last time. Could yet have more to offer as his stamina is drawn out, still unexposed as a staying chaser after all.

2. VICENTE (Paul Nicholls/ Sam Twiston-Davies)
Won this race (for second year running, by neck from Cogry) in 2016/17, but held back by poor jumping of late. Clearly goes well in these conditions, though, and respected in hat-trick bid, for all that 4 lb higher mark than last year makes life tougher.

3. SIZING CODELCO (Colin Tizzard/ Paul O'Brien)
Seemingly back to form when fourth in Bowl Chase won by Might Bite at Aintree last time, though probably flattered (soon off bridle before staying on late). Opposable on balance of form this season.

4. BALLYOPTIC (Nigel Twiston-Davies/ Tom Bellamy)
Taken well to chasing this season, winning two of five starts including Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby in February from Vintage Clouds. Again ran well when fourth in RSA Chase won by Presenting Percy at Cheltenham last time and open to further progress over longer trips.

5. BEWARE THE BEAR (Nicky Henderson/ Jeremiah McGrath)
Won Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle in December, and ran creditably after 10 weeks off when fourth in Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last time, labouring five out before running on again late. May not be entirely straightforward on that evidence.

6. FAGAN (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/ Davy Russell)
Won novice at Perth in July and filled runner-up spot in two subsequent starts, finding little when 10 lengths second to Black Corton in novice at Cheltenham on latter occasion. Six-month absence to contend with here, but remains totally unexposed as a staying chaser and represents last week's Grand National-winning trainer/jockey.

7. LABEL DES OBEAUX (Alan King/ Wayne Hutchinson)
Smart performer on his day and won novice handicap on this card twelve months ago, but offered little in five starts this term. Plenty to prove at present.

8. SIZING TENNESSEE (Colin Tizzard/ Robbie Power)
Won novice at Cheltenham in December and shaped better than bare result when third in National Hunt Chase won by Rathvinden back there last time, only weakening from last. Well worth another try at this trip given better ground and shortlisted accordingly.

9. REGAL FLOW (Bob Buckler/ Sean Houlihan)
Resumed winning ways at Taunton in March, and improved further after just five days off when following up in Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter (by 10 lengths from Milansbar) last time, suited by increase in trip. Clearly thriving at present, but more needed on very different ground from 10 lb higher here.

10. WEST APPROACH (Colin Tizzard/ Tom Scudamore)
Won maiden at Ffos Las in October and novice at Exeter in December, and ran respectably in first-time blinkers when sixth in JLT Novices' Chase won by Shattered Love at Cheltenham last time, weakening when making mistake two out. Stamina to prove on handicap debut.

11. SILSOL (Paul Nicholls/ Harry Cobden)
Smart hurdler who is yet to match that form in three starts over fences this term, including when 15 lengths fourth to Regal Flow in Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter last time. Jumping an ongoing issue over fences and difficult to fancy in environment as competitive as this.

12. VINTAGE CLOUDS (Sue Smith/ Danny Cook)
Won novices' handicap at Aintree (by 18 lengths from Lovely Job) in October, and ran creditably when six and a quarter lengths third to Coo Star Sivola in Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last time, sticking to task well. Consistent sort who should continue to give a good account.

13. GET ON THE YAGER (Dan Skelton/ Harry Skelton)
Won handicaps at Fontwell and Wetherby (Rowland Meyrick Chase), both in December, and shaped better than bare result when ninth in Midlands Grand National at Uttoxter last time, looking big threat before stamina gave way. Trip something of a worry on that evidence.

14. HENRI PARRY MORGAN (Peter Bowen/ Sean Bowen)
Smart performer in his prime and produced best effort for a while in first-time blinkers/after seven weeks off when winning handicap at Ffos Las (by four and a half lengths from Jennys Surprise) last time. Should remain competitive from 6 lb higher if headgear has same effect here.

15. BENBENS (Nigel Twiston-Davies/ Mr Zac Baker)
Won London National at Sandown (by neck from Sugar Baron) in December, but struggled for form in two subsequent starts. Third both previous attempts in 2015 and 2017.

16. LOOKING WELL (Nicky Richards/ Ryan Day)
Relished longer trip and would have won but for swerving and unseating rider in handicap won by Full Jack at Musselburgh last time, two lengths up when seemingly trying to refuse. 5 lb higher here despite that missed opportunity, but is still unexposed as an out-and-out stayer.

17. COGRY (Nigel Twiston-Davies/ Jamie Bargary)
Won handicap at Cheltenham in October and again ran well when 11 lengths second to Milansbar in Classic Chase at Warwick in January. Well below form at Cheltenham last time, however, and looks in handicapper's grip at present (6 lb higher than when second in this race last season).

18. INDY FIVE (David Dennis/ Brian Hughes)
Won novice handicaps at Taunton in December and Newbury in February, and shaped well when two and a quarter lengths second to Takingrisks in handicap here last time, shaping best before conditions took their toll. Respected with this longer trip expected to suit.

19. MYSTEREE (Michael Scudamore/ Robert Dunne)
Won at Haydock and Newcastle (Eider Chase) in 2016/17, but made little impact in both starts this season, pulled up in Welsh Grand National at Chepstow and tailed off in Grand National Trial at Haydock. Lots to prove at present.

20. STRAIDNAHANNA (Sue Smith/ Henry Brooke)
Returned to form after 10 weeks off when winning handicap at Catterick (by three and a quarter lengths from Boric) last time, keeping on gamely. Far from guaranteed to back that up (hard to catch right), though, and has been pulled up in last two renewals of this race.

21. DOING FINE (Neil Mulholland/ Noel Fehily)
Thorough stayer who is yet to finish out of first four in eight starts for this yard, including when creditable fourth in London National at Sandown last time, finishing well. On a good mark and should have conditions to suit here (strongly-run race away from mud and over a marathon trip).

22. JOE FARRELL (Rebecca Curtis/ Adam Wedge)
Produced best effort after three months off when winning novice handicap at Newbury (by 17 lengths from Another Frontier) last time, left clear three out and keeping on well. 11 lb higher mark demands more in what is by far the toughest task of his career to date, though.

23. WORK DU BRETEAU (Dan Skelton/ Bridget Andrews)
Won novice at Worcester (by 10 lengths from Exxaro) in June, but offered little encouragement after wind operation/nine weeks off when well held on stable debut last time. Hard to fancy.

24. PEARL SWAN (Peter Bowen/ James Bowen)
Stepped up on reappearance when eighth in Grade 3 handicap won by Thomas Patrick at Aintree last time and has backed up quickly in the past, but not in a race as competitive as this.

25. GLENCAIRN VIEW (Anthony Mullins/ Danny Mullins)
Progressed with every start over fences, producing effort bordering on useful when winning novice handicap at Navan (by five and a half lengths from Fitzhenry) last time. Could yet have more to offer as a chaser, but will need to from 12 lb higher in this more competitive scenario.

26. THE YOUNG MASTER (Neil Mulholland/ Mr Sam Waley-Cohen)
Took step back in the right direction after wind operation when sixth in Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase won by Missed Approach at Cheltenham last time, needing stiffer test. One for the shortlist if building on that up in trip here, having dropped 16 lb below last winning mark.

27. ALZAMMAAR (Sam England/ Callum Bewley)
Novice whose only win came when finishing alone at Catterick in December. Excuses over shorter trips the last twice but needs to jump better than last time in what's a vastly more competitive race.

28. BOA ISLAND (James Moffatt/ Conor O'Farrell)
Won three times as a novice last season but well beaten both starts on return in the autumn and has since left Paul Nicholls. Stiff task on stable debut.

31. RACING EUROPE (Brian Ellison/ Derek Fox)
Stayed well over hurdles and placed in two of just three starts over fences as a novice. Set a huge task after more than two years' absence.

30. FACT OF THE MATTER (Jamie Snowden/ Harry Bannister)
Winner at Cartmel last August but not seen since pulling up in Badger Ales at Wincanton in November and hard to fancy in a still more competitive race.

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