There is often much excitement generated by the Aintree Grand National, and the same applies to the regional races. The Scottish Grand National is no ‘bolt on’ event either, in fact it first took place in 1858 when it was called the West of Scotland Grand National and consisted of 32 stone wall jumps.
Nine years later the race was moved from Houston, Renfrewshire to Bogside racecourse near Invine. After Bogside closed in 1965 the race moved to its current home in Ayr. At its now home the course is a little longer than it previously was at 4 miles.
Much like with the Welsh Grand National, a win in the Scottish National handicap race is often indicative of wider success. The legendary Red Rum ‘did the double’ in 1974 by winning both the Scottish Grand National and Aintree Grand National. Others achieving this feat (though not in the same year) include Earth Summit and Little Polveir.
Aside from what winning might indicate in a wider context, the prize money alone for the Scottich National is impressive, with the total prize pot at £215,000 in 2018, with £122,433 of that going to the winner. The Festival prize money in total stood at £714,000 over the 15 races held over two days making this the richest jumps event in Scotland and a highly entertaining spectacle. It’s no surprise then that leading trainers and jockeys alike are drawn here to compete.
The 2018 Scottish Grand National winner was 9 year old Joe Farrell (yes, that’s a horse’s name!) ridden by Adam Wedge and trained by Rebecca Curtis. Another trainer that has excelled here in recent years is Paul Nicholls who trained the 2016 and 2017 winner Vincente, with Sam Twiston-Davies riding.