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Ayr – Preview 22nd April 2023

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.

NICKY RICHARDS fancies his chances of another win in the £200,000 Coral Grand National, this time with Famous Bridge.


In a typically wide-open contest over almost four miles, victory would also cap another fine season for Brian Hughes, who is about to be crowned champion jockey for the third time in four years.


Greystoke-based Richards, successful in 2019 with Takingrisks, said: “He’s bred to be a staying chaser, now we will find out just how far he stays and I’m just hoping there is enough cut in the ground for him. I’d like to think there was plenty left in the tank both times when he won at Wetherby and it would be lovely to see these (Trevor) Hemmings colours win another big race like this.”


The home nation has seven representatives including Lucinda Russell pair Your Own Story and 2021 hero Mighty Thunder as the trainer bids to add the Scottish equivalent to last Saturday’s triumph at Aintree with Corach Rambler.


Christian Williams-trained Kitty’s Light, runner-up twelve months ago to stable companion Win My Wings, arrives off the back of a convincing victory in the Eider Chase at Newcastle and he shares favouritism with Monbeg Genius, whose trainer Jonjo O’Neill never got closer than second in seven rides in the race as a jockey.


You have to go back to 1869 to find the sole winner from Ireland, Huntsman, and Gavin Cromwell – second to Corach Rambler with Vanillier last weekend – will be hoping he can go one better with recent Ulster National scorer Malina Girl.


The Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle features the previous two winners, Milkwood from 2022 and Anna Bunina from last year.


According to ante-post lists, bookmakers reckon the race is even more competitive than the Scottish National, which itself usually ranks as the fourth highest race, Flat or jumps, in terms of betting turnover in the whole of the UK.