18th April, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
Having got no further than the second fence in Saturday’s John Smith’s Grand National at Aintree it appears quite likely that the David Pipe-trained Junior will be re-routed to Scotland to take his chance in the marathon Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr this weekend, writes Elliot Slater.
The former Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Festival winner was a long-time ante-post favourite for the ‘the world’s greatest steeplechase’ among punters who regularly bet on racing. But he drifted in the market for the Liverpool spectacular on the day of the contest, (eventually being sent off a 16/1 shot), and having jumped the first fence well enough towards the rear of the 40-strong field he made a mistake at the next that saw the dreams of his owners the Middleham Park Racing syndicate hit the turf without getting much of a run for their money.
Happily both horse and jockey were unscathed, and significantly Scudamore managed to catch Junior before he decided to set off in pursuit of the main body of the field, meaning the horse took little or nothing out of himself. If given a clean bill of health then the prospects of Junior motoring up to the west coast of Scotland and taking his chance under top weight of 11st 12lbs look good, and having never before fallen when competing over regulation fences his weekend blip can be put down to nothing more than simple bad luck.
Time might prove that only lasting the first 30 seconds of the Liverpool contest could be a blessing in disguise, and as a proven stayer who should relish the expected decent ground Pipe will fancy his chances of gaining quick compensation for his Grand National disappointment. Punters can get best racing odds as short as 8/1 in the ante-post market for the Scottish highlight with some firms, Junior can still be backed at 14/1 in places.