Henry Daly’s Grand National hope Fortescue may skip Ayr for Aintree


Henry Daly’s Grand National hope Fortescue may skip Ayr in a bid to gain a late entry for £1m Aintree race

  • Fortescue is a 14-1 shot for Scottish National, where he is due to carry 11st 10lb 
  • But his weight of 10st 5lb for Aintree means he is 48th in the list of entries
  • Fortescue needs eight above him to be scratched to get a run on April 9

Trainer Henry Daly says Fortescue will bypass Saturday’s Coral Scottish National at Ayr if there is a chance the gelding will get a start in the £1million Randox Grand National at Aintree seven days later.

Fortescue is a 14-1 shot for the Scottish National, where he is due to carry 11st 10lb. But his weight of 10st 5lb in the Grand National means he is currently 48th in the list of entries, needing eight above him to be scratched to get a run.

Annoyingly for Daly, Fortescue has been raised 4lb by the handicapper since the weights were framed in February after winning at Ascot last month. His new handicap rating would see him comfortably in the Grand National line-up and theoretically one of the best handicapped horses in the race.

Fortescue is a 14-1 shot for the Scottish National on Saturday, where he is due to carry 11st 10lb

Fortescue is a 14-1 shot for the Scottish National on Saturday, where he is due to carry 11st 10lb 

Daly said: ‘I’d like to go to Aintree — it’s worth a lot of money. But I am trying to cover my bases by making the entry in Scotland.

‘If it looks like we are not going to get in at Aintree we could go to Scotland and we also have the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown next month up our sleeve.

‘You do get to hear what is likely to run at Aintree but it is going to be very tricky. As sure as eggs are eggs I am going to mess this up!’

Welsh trainer Christian Williams is responsible for the two horses that head the betting for the Scottish National — Kitty’s Light (5-1) and Win My Wings (8-1).

Hoping to hit the heights at Ayr after frustrating near-misses is Borders trainer Sandy Thomson, who has a potentially massive seven days ahead of him. He runs The Ferry Master, last year’s fourth, and Hill Sixteen at Ayr. Then the following Saturday saddles Dingo Dollar, last year’s Scottish National runner-up, in the Grand National.

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