Wednesday 17 January 2018

Niall Cronin: Go with Goonyella for the Scottish Grand National

In-form Dreaper pick of Irish trainers to make history in Scottish Grand National

Goonyella and Jamie Flynn
Goonyella and Jamie Flynn

The Dreaper family are steeped in Irish Grand National history and have also landed the Welsh equivalent and tomorrow Jim Dreaper has an opportunity to become the first Irish trainer to win the Scottish Grand National at Ayr with Goonyella.

Four Irish-trained runners have been declared for the four-mile marathon with the big story revolving around favourite Gallant Oscar who was this week bought by JP McManus and will be ridden by Paul Carberry for trainer Tony Martin.

However, it is Goonyella that looks way overpriced at 16/1 to follow up his Midlands National success at Uttoxeter in the Cheltenham Festival aftermath.

The eight-year-old will absolutely relish the trip again and the ground, should it not dry out more, will be absolutely ideal for the Alan and Ann Potts-owned son of Presenting.

Goonyella has a 10lbs hike in the handicap to overcome from his nine-length victory in the Midlands National where he had Raz De Maree back in second but the inclusion of Sam Winner in tomorrow's feature race means that Goonyella still gets in off an attractive weight of 10st10lbs and he really should be there or there abouts.

It is a trappy race though and Cheltenham runner-up Broadway Buffalo is another who could be involved at the business end for David Pipe after being second in the four-miler to Cause Of Causes.

He just failed to make the cut for the English Grand National and connections will be keen to earn some compensation this time around.

This time of year is also littered with Classic trials on the Flat and at Newbury tomorrow Aidan O'Brien sends over Dick Whittington for the Greenham Stakes.

Godolphin have started the season well and are represented by Belardo here but Richard Hannon was on the board at Newmarket yesterday when Kool Kompany won the Craven Stakes and afterwards Richard Hughes spoke in glowing terms about Ivawood, who should justify favouritism on this occasion.

It was also interesting to hear Hughes speak about the speedy filly Tiggy Wiggy who he is likely to drop in and get a lead in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes on the same card and it'll be interesting to see how she settles if that is the case.

There's no doubt she'd easily win from the front but whether or not she handles being settled in remains to be seen and maybe it could be a race to look for an each-way alternative.

The one who could be worth taking an each-way price about is Richard Fahey's filly Lacing who is set to be around about a 14/1 shot. She should be capable of making the frame on this occasion.

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