Scottish Grand National betting simply could not be more thrilling! Held every April at Ayr Racecourse, this Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase is open to horses aged five years or older. The race spans a distance of 3 miles and 7 furlongs and includes 27 fences, making it an exhilarating experience for both spectators and punters. Read on for our detailed guide!

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    The Scottish Grand National is a Grade 3 National Hunt handicap steeplechase race. A 30-runner handicap, it is sometimes known as the Ayr Grand National because of where it is held, and is the highlight of the two-day Festival with which it shares its name. It is also one of the most important races in British National Hunt racing and the biggest in Scotland, attracting crowds of over 19,000 people each year.

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    The race is run over four miles every April, one week after the English Grand National takes place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. It often serves as a test for the latter, with many horses going on to compete in the following year’s race.

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    There are 27 fences across the Ayr Racecourse, meaning the agility, speed, stamina, and staying power of the horses are pushed to the limit.

The 2023 edition is set to take place from Friday 21st to Saturday 22nd April at Ayr Racecourse. Below, we have compiled a list of races scheduled to take place over the two days of the Festival.

Friday, 21st April – Ladies’ Day

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    1:45pm – Ayrshire Hospice, Building the Future Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (3m, 70 yards)

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    2:20pm – Quiz Clothing Novices’ Hurdle (2m 4f 100y)

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    2:55pm – Remus Uomo Handicap Hurdle (2m)

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    3:30pm – Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase (2m 4f 110y)

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    4:05pm – Coral Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (3m 70y)

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    4:40pm – Seko Logistics Scotland Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (2m 110y)

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    5:15pm – Thistle Cabs Group Handicap Hurdle (3m 70 y)

Saturday, 22nd April – Grand National Day

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    1:15pm – Scotty Brand Handicap Chase (2m 110y)

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    1:50pm – CPMS Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase (3m 20y)

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    2:25pm – Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle (2m)

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    3:00pm – Jordan Electrics Ltd Future Champion Novices’ Chase (2m 4f 110y)

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    3:35pm – Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase (3m 7f 176y)

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    4:10pm – Tennent’s Handicap Hurdle (2m 5f 91y)

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    4:45pm – Trump Turnberry ‘Hands & Heels’ Finale Handicap Hurdle (2m 4f 100y)

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    5:15pm – Golf Inn Prestwick Open NH Flat Race (2m)

Make sure you get the latest information on Horse Racing Racecards & Results by checking our updated racecards for the day.

The 2023 edition of the race is set to retain its place as the third-richest handicap in Britain, with the blue-riband event getting a £50,000 increase. As such, the winner will be presented with a cheque for £200,000.

Run over four miles, this Class One horse race is always contested by many of the nation’s leading staying chasers, making it Britain’s fourth most bet on horse race and delivering a thrilling edge-of-your-seat finish. Read on for the latest betting odds and our betting tips!

We will publish the latest race odds for 2023 over the next couple of weeks. Check back soon!

Betting on this race will enjoy a huge surge the nearer we get to the blue-riband event. As such, our expert tips and predictions will be added here once the commencement of the event draws closer.

Betting Promotions 2023

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    Paddy Power has always been a brilliant site for betting on the Scottish Grand National, and you can get a risk-free £10 bet to kickstart your betting journey.

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    bet365, however, pushes the boat out further and gives you a free £30 bet after an initial £10 wager.

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    It is the fourth biggest race in terms of betting turnover in the UK.

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    It is the third most lucrative handicap chase in Great Britain, with the winner picking up a cheque for £200,000.

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    It is Scotland’s biggest National Hunt event.

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    Plenty of the UK’s leading staying chasers should be in the field.

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    More than 1.2 million viewers will be watching on TV.

It is one of the most wagered-on races in British horse racing. Although less heralded than the higher-profile Grand National, it not only serves as a trial for the following year’s world's greatest steeplechase, but also makes for some of the finest jump racing in equestrian sport.

Outright Betting

Outright betting is the obvious wager to start with when we discuss horse racing, and so it is with the Scottish Grand National. With 30 runners taking on 27 fences, it is clear that not every horse will make it home. But, with an outright bet on the winner, it is your job to correctly predict the horse who not only successfully navigates the course, but also finishes the race first. It’s a simple one-off bet that requires a successful conclusion alone to trigger a payout.

Best betting site for outright betting: Betfred

Each-Way Betting

This is a 30-runner handicap and, as such, any outright single bet that you wish to wager might well be worth backing it up with a little bettors’ insurance, such as an each-way bet. This way, part of your stake goes on your horse successfully finishing in the places.

These days, what counts as a place differs from bookie to bookie because of what has become a rather overcrowded marketplace. This has led betting operators to increasingly try to outdo each other for your custom by offering promotions – one such way is by offering additional places on big races such as the Scottish Grand National.

Best betting site for each-way betting: Paddy Power

Forecast Betting

In a horse race, bettors always have the opportunity to back the first two horses home. This is known as a forecast bet, and works by you predicting the first- and second-place horses in the correct order.

However, this is not in any way a double or a bet paid by way of fixed odds. In fact, the bookmakers do not calculate these odds at all. Rather, these bets are determined by the official industry forecast return which, when announced at the end of the race, is paid to the pound (£1). The Tote forecast payout is the calculated result of factors such as the odds of the horses involved and the amount of runners in the race.

Best betting site for forecast betting: William Hill

Reverse Forecast Betting

A reverse forecast is the each-way bet of forecast betting. It works in exactly the same way as a forecast, only you double your stake to ensure that it pays either way. What do we mean?

Well, it would certainly be annoying if you successfully predicted the first two finishers but couldn’t get paid because they came home in the reverse order that you backed. With a reverse forecast, your only worry is that your two horses come home first and second. The order doesn’t matter because your reverse forecast bet covers you either way and will pay out, so long as your two horses beat everyone else over the line.

Best betting site for reverse forecast betting: William Hill

Tricast Betting

One of the most challenging and advanced betting types, the tricast is where you attempt to predict the first three horses to come home in the exact order ie first, second, and third.

Often referred to as a trifecta, tricast bets can result in large returns if small stakes are placed. Mastering it is very tricky, and bettors who have a solid knowledge of a track or the field they are betting on will typically do well with this betting type.

Best betting site for tricast betting: Paddy Power

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    The race’s origins date back to 1858, when the West of Scotland Grand National was first run at a course near Houston, Renfrewshire. In 1867, the race moved to the Bogside Racecourse and stayed there until 1965 when the venue was shut down. Since then, the race has been held at Ayr Racecourse on the west coast of Scotland. The first ever winner at Bogside was the Duke of Hamilton owned The Elk. Back then, the race was held over a distance of around three miles but was later extended to 3⅞ miles.

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    In 1880, it was called the Scottish Grand National for the first time and was won by Peacock. During the first ever Ayr hosting in 1965, the race was lengthened again, this time to its present length of almost 4 miles.

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    The 2020 edition of the race was cancelled due to the pandemic that impacted so much of that year’s sport. The race took place in its normal April slot the following year, when the Lucinda-Russell-trained Mighty Thunder was first past the post.

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    In 2022, jockey Robert James won on board Win my Wings. Starting out as the 13/2 joint-favourite alongside Kitty’s Light, was ridden with extreme confidence, coasting to a victory of seven lengths. James had previously only ridden one winner in the UK, but he is viewed as the most prolific winning point-to-point jockeys in Ireland.

Recent Scottish Grand National Winners

YearWinnerJockeyTrainer
2022Win My WingsRobert JamesChristian Williams
2021Mighty ThunderTom ScudamoreLucinda Russell
2020CancelledCancelledCancelled
2019TakingrisksSean QuinlanNicky Richards
2018Joe FarrellAdam WedgeRebecca Curtis
2017VicenteSam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls
2016VicenteSam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls
2015Wayward PrinceRobbie DunneHilary Parrott
2014Al CoJamie MoorePeter Bowen
2013GodsmejudgeWayne HutchinsonAlan King
2012MerigoTimmy MurphyAndrew Parker

Scottish Grand National Key Stats

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    Charlie Cunningham is the most successful jockey in the race after winning on Bellman in 1881, Wild Meadow in 1885, Orcadian in 1887 and Deloraine in 1889.

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    The race’s most successful trainer is Neville Crump, who has trained five winners.

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    This puts him one ahead of Ken Oliver, who has created four race champions.

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    With three wins each, the three most successful horses in this race are Couvrefeu II, Southern Hero, and Queen's Taste.

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    Red Rum is the only horse to have won all three British Grand Nationals – English, Scottish, and Welsh.

  • 26th December 2023, King George VI: This Boxing Day classic is raced at Kempton Park as part of the Christmas festival and is one of the leading National Hunt races in the UK.
  • 27th December 2023, Welsh Grand National: Raced at Chepstow Racecourse in the Welsh county of Monmouthshire, the Welsh Grand National is another leading National Hunt steeplechase.
  • 15th March 2024, Cheltenham Gold Cup: The nation’s most important and significant National Hunt race is the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which is held on the fourth and final day of the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The best betting sites for this race are Coral and Paddy Power.

The big race will be broadcast live by ITV Racing on ITV 1 or ITV 4.

The horses must successfully clear 27 fences if they want to win the Scottish Grand National, and the race is just short of four miles long.

The showpiece event is set to see the runners set off at 3:35pm on Saturday, April 22; however, this can be subject to change.

Across the festival, a total of £600,000 is put into the race's prize pool.

A maximum of 30 horses can usually start the Scottish Grand National.

Unfortunately, there was no running of the Scottish Grand National that year because of the pandemic.

On the race itself, each-way bets generally work best because of the tricky nature of the course.

Coming just a week after the Grand National, the Scottish Grand National remains one of the most prestigious events in jump racing. With its unique combination of a challenging course, numerous fences, and talented horses, the race is a must-watch event for any horse racing enthusiast or punter.

Whether you're an experienced bettor or a novice, this event offers plenty of opportunities to place smart wagers and potentially win big. So saddle up, place your bets, and get ready to cheer on your favourite runner as they race towards the finish line in this thrilling and unforgettable event!

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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