Scudamore family aims for belated Grand National success

The going is Good for the opening day of the 2017 Grand National.

Kennedy has made a real name for himself in Ireland this winter, and is now second behind Ruby Walsh in the Irish Jump jockeys' championship with 64 winners (as of April 5).

Vieux Lion Rouge comes to the race on the back of two impressive wins including victory over the Aintree fences - but over a shorter trip than the four miles plus of Saturday's race - after an honourable seventh in last year's edition. The Scottish Grand National is slightly shorter in length than its Aintree counterpart by 350 yards, making it an excellent opportunity for owners and jockeys to test their horses for the rigours of racing under extreme duress and on the biggest stage.

Geraghty may have seen it all before but three teenagers will have the experience of their life on Saturday - Sean Bowen, 19, rides Le Mercurey, 18-year-old Harry Cobden is on Just A Par and the baby of them all Jack Kennedy, 17, is aboard Roi Des Francs. Cobden is attached to champion Jump trainer Paul Nicholls' yard and rode his first Grade One victor on Nicholls' Irving in the Stan James Fighting Fifth Hurdle in November.

So, if you're planning on having a flutter, or even if you're just watching for the sport, this is the place to start.

Don't miss H&H's Grand National preview - including our ultimate form guide and interview with Kim Bailey - on sale now (Thursday, 6 April).

The trio is completed by Sean Bowen, who turns 20 on September 5.

A nice touch from the race organisers will see the terminally ill five-year-old boy Bradley Lowery given an honorary 41st place in the National race card.

Bowen has ridden 76 winners as of April 5, and is now 10th in the British Jump jockeys' title race.

The bay gelding is backed in the latest Grand National betting odds at 25/1 to win the race, joining Red Rum and Earth Summit to achieve the feat.

The Colin Tizzard-trained FOX NORTON was an excellent head second to SPECIAL TIARA in Queen Mother Champion Chase, though has never raced at 2½m.

Walsh - who finished third in the 2012 National on Seabass - was unseated from Distime at The Chair, the third fence in the race run over the National course, and appeared to be kicked by another horse as she lay on the ground. Blaklion is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has won the Grand National twice.

  • Leroy Wright