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The Coral Scottish Grand National to be run at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday April 17 will have a prize fund of £150,000, making it the joint second richest handicap chase in Britain behind the Grand National.
The Class 1, Grade 3 chase is run over four miles with a field a field of up to 30 runners and boasts the fourth biggest betting turnover in the UK.
David Brown, managing director, Ayr Racecourse, said : ‘We are acutely aware of the position the Coral Scottish Grand National holds in the jumps racing calendar. It sits right up there with the most prestigious races of the year and we felt it only right despite the difficulties horseracing faces due to the coronavirus epidemic we maintained the prize money at the highest possible level we could.
‘This is only possible thanks to the continued support of Coral who have sponsored this great race since 2007 and who cherish it as much as the team at Ayr do.
‘The Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday normally sells out weeks in advance but unfortunately we are unable to welcome any crowd at all to this year’s big day because of ongoing restrictions. ITV 1 will of course be covering the action and in 2019 an amazing 1.2 million viewers watched the race – a record for the race and one of the highest viewing audiences of the year for racing on ITV.’
Simon Clare, Ladbrokes Coral PR director, said: ‘The Coral Scottish Grand National is quite simply one of jump racing’s most important races, being the fourth biggest betting race in the calendar and the most prestigious race run in Scotland.
‘So whilst sadly there will be no crowd this year, this has not affected our commitment and financial support for the event one iota, and we have worked closely with Ayr Racecourse to ensure that the big race is run for the maximum prize possible under the very challenging unique circumstances we continue to face.
‘We are also thrilled to enhance our support for this brilliant racing event, by adding the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle to our long-standing sponsorship of the Coral Scottish Grand National which dates back to 2007, and look forward to working with Ayr to put on a great show for the millions of people watching the event from home on ITV Racing, and Racing TV.’
The Coral Scottish Grand National was last run in 2019 owing to last year’s race falling foul of the epidemic. The winner that day was the Nicky Richards’ trained Takingrisks who is expected to line up in the race again this year having recently won a Listed Chase at Doncaster.
Most of the top stables in Britain will be represented in the race which was famously won in 1974 by Red Rum who became the only horse ever to have won the Grand National and the Scottish Grand National in the same year. Other famous winners include Grey Abbey in 2004, Merigo in 2010 and 2012 and Vicente in 2016 and 2017.
Entries for the Coral Scottish Grand National close at noon on Tuesday March 23.