Scottish Grand National Betting (2022) - What Do You Need to Know?

Original banner featuring a jockey on a horse followed by the words "Scottish Grand National" next to the coat of arms of the event and the event sponsor "Coral"

While the Scottish Grand National may not be as well-known as its equivalent races in England and Ireland, it has been run consecutively since 1858 and remains highly popular amongst punters north and south of the border.

What’s more, several runners have claimed the coveted double of Scottish and English Grand Nationals, with Red Rum winning both races in the same year in 1974.

In this guide, we’ll explore this iconic race in more detail, while offering some Scottish Grand National betting tips for interested punters!

Best Scottish Grand National Bookies

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Scottish Grand National Betting Tips

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The 2022 race will take place on Saturday, 2nd April, on the second and final day of the Coral Grand National Festival that features a total of 15 stellar races.

The iconic Ayr Racecourse will host the festival as usual, but before we explore this in a little more detail, let’s look at some of the most common betting markets for punters to explore:

  • The Straight Win Bet: Let’s start with the basics; as the straight bet is the easiest type of wager and market to understand. As the name suggests, you’ll need to back a single horse to win the Scottish Grand National, and if this runner comes any lower than first then the wager won’t come in. While this can allow you to realise the full value of published odds, the long and competitive nature of this National Hunt steeplechase can make it hard to predict a winner with accuracy.

Our Top Tip: While placing a straight win bet is a high-risk pastime, you can manage this simply by minimising your stake and studying the form carefully. There are other factors to consider when making a selection, but we’ll explore these a little later in the guide.

  • The Each-Way Bet: This is a much more popular National wager, and one which requires you to effectively split your stake between ‘straight win’ and ‘place’ outcomes. For example, if you stake a total of £1 on an each-way wager, you’ll place £0.50 on your horse to win and the same amount on the runner placing in the top four. Although this reduces your potential returns, it provides greater coverage and makes it more likely that you’ll recover some of your stake.

Our Top Tip: With an each-way bet, you’re providing a hedge against risk and covering four potential outcomes for your horse. As it reduces your potential returns, however, it’s ideal when backing outside runners or horses that aren’t short-priced favourites.

  • The Accumulator (or Acca) Bet: Accumulator bets can feature anywhere between four and 20 selections in a single better, with extended, cumulative odds provided to deliver superior value. With this bet, you can wager on several races during the two-day festival (including the Scottish Grand National), although each of these will have to win if your bet is to come in. This is greater for punters with extensive knowledge and a desire to pursue larger returns.

Our Top Tip: We’d recommend capping your acca selections at between four and six, while ideally backing runners that boast relatively short prices. This will create a delicate balance between risk and reward, while maintaining a good probability of the wager winning.

  • The Trifecta Bet: A favourite amongst skilled bettors, this wager requires you to select the horses that will finish first, second and third in the correct order. This is a highly challenging bet, and one that once again demands a solid base of knowledge and a keen appetite for risk. The good news is that you can feature multiple selections to help increase your chances of winning, although this will impact directly on the cost and value proposition of the bet.

Our Top Tips: We’d recommend that you stay away from the trifecta bet unless you really know what you’re doing, while it’s also important to manage your bankroll carefully if you do decide to place this type of wager.

Scottish Grand National Odds – How to Pick a Winner in 2022

At present, there are no official odds available for April’s Scottish National, but you can rest assured that we’ll publish these here just as soon as they’re released.

However, we can probably predict a tight and exciting contest in Ayr, especially if the 2021 iteration of the race is anything to go by.

In a thrilling race, the Lucinda Russell-trained Mighty Thunder produced a stunning late surge to deny Dingo Dollar, who had led by a neck with two fences to go. However, under the stewardship of Tom Scudamore, Mighty Thunder powered home by a length, affording the jockey his first Scottish National win in the process.

Interestingly, this was the first time since 2012 that a Scottish trainer had won the race, although this certainly wasn’t the only instance of a National going to the wire at Ayr’s Racecourse.

The race also has a history of runners appearing on multiple occasions, with Lucinda Russell’s own ‘Kerry Lads’ contesting the Scottish Nation on four occasions (finishing second, fourth, fifth and 10th in the process).

So, there’s every chance that Mighty Thunder could run again next year, creating a likely early favourite in the eyes of bookmakers.

Prior to the odds and runners being confirmed, however, let’s take a look at the key considerations when placing wagers and identifying the best value runners.

The Importance of Weight

Like its Irish and English counterparts, the Scottish Grand National is a handicap race. This means that the highest ranked runners have to carry the most weight, with this capped at 12 stone for the ablest competitors.

This is a key consideration, especially for a race that runs over a challenging four-mile course complete with 27 challenging fences. Make no mistake; even the best horses can struggle at the optimal weight level, and it’s interesting to note that 12 of the 16 winners since 2005 were all carrying less than 11 stone in weight.

This year's winner Mighty Thunder was only carrying 11 stone and 01lbs, so there may be some value in selecting runners that are little less weighed down.

If we look at the English Grand National, only one runner has even carried the top weight of 12 stone to victory, and was the irrepressible Red Rum.

The Age of the Runners

Age is another key consideration, especially as National Hunt runners and Grand National competitors don’t usually develop the requisite stamina to compete consistently until they’re eight or nine years old.

Conversely, most horses see their strength begin to wain when they reach the age of 12, with 14 of the 16 winners since 2005 between the ages of 8 and 11.

In fact, just one 12-year-old has won the Scottish Grand National since the race moved to Ayr in 1966 (Willsford in 2012), while only two runners younger than eight have prevailed in the last 30 years (Godmejudge in 2013 and Vicente in 2016, who were both seven-years-old).

This can prove a great guide when picking potential winners, as you aim for runners within the relevant age range and solid experience over the hurdles.

Each Runner’s Track Record

Aside from weight and age, each runner’s track record over the hurdles and similar steeplechase races can also provide insight into a potential winner.

In fact, this information can be even more invaluable than ante-post odds, with the majority of Scottish Grand National winners like to have enjoyed some level of success in challenging steeplechases and potentially won at least one Group 1 race.

The key is to measure performance over courses that are three miles in length or longer, while also prioritising venues that feature a large number of challenging jumps.

You can analyse this data while studying form, as you focus on drawing out relevant information that may dictate how the race pans out.

Analyse the Going

Last, but by no means least, we come to the ‘going’, which describes the conditions of the ground at the course at the time of racing.

During April, we often see slightly colder and wetter weather, which may result in ‘soft’ or ‘heavy’ going depending on the extent of the rainfall.

Heavy going can be particularly challenging, while such conditions tend to favour the out-and-out stayer rather than the speed merchants (who tend to thrive on firm ground).

However, soft or heavy going can make steeplechases particularly challenging, while it can also be hard to call the outcome races in such conditions.

Scottish Grand National Free Bets Offers

While those lengthy ante-post odds may look pretty good when they’re released by sportsbooks, just bear in mind that operators tend to launch relevant welcome bonuses and Scottish Grand National free bets in the build-up to the race.

We’ll be sure to publish the details here just as soon as they’re made available, but it may be worth holding fire and waiting to see what offers are available through our approved sportsbooks before placing a wager.

BookmakerOfferClaim
Bet365€50 worth of Bet Credits Claim Now
William HillPut Down a €10 Bet and Receive Free Bets Worth €40 Claim Now
888sportWager €10 on any Horse Race and you will be Given 6 x €5 Free BetsClaim Now
BetVictorMake a €10 bet and get free bet bonuses that are worth €30Claim Now
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The Coral Scottish Grand National Festival’s Schedule for 2022

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As we’ve already touched on, there are 15 stellar races hosted across the two days of the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival, including two Class 1 Listed events and the aforementioned Grand National.

We’ve detailed the full schedule below, including ‘Ladies Day’ on Friday and the high-octane ‘Grand National Day’ on Saturday, April 2nd!

Ladies Day, Friday April 1st 2022

Time

Race

1:00

Novices’ Hurdle (Class 3)

1:30

Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

2:05

Novices’ Limited Handicap (Class 3)

2:40

Mares’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)

3:15

Handicap Chase (Class 1 Listed)

3:50

Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

4:27

Scottish Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

Grand National Day, Saturday April 2nd 2022

Time

Race

1:15

Handicap Chase (Class 1 Listed)

1:50

Novices’ Champion Handicap (Class 2)

2:25

Scottish Champion Hurdle (Grade 2 Listed)

3:00

Future Champion Novices’ Chase (Grade 2)

3:35

Coral Scottish Grand National (Grade 3)

4:10

Handicap Hurdle (Class 2)

4:45

Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (Class 3)

5:20

Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 3)

A Brief History of the Scottish Grand National Festival

This Grade 3 race can trace its origins back to 1858, when it was first run at a course near Houston, Renfrewshire. Then, it was known as the “West of Scotland Grand National”., while it featured 32 jumps largely comprising stone walls.

The race moved to Irvine in 1867, with the course at Bogside extended to 3 7/8 miles in 1880 (when the Scottish Grand National also came to be known by its current name).

The modern history of the Scottish National began in earnest in 1966, after the Bogside Racecourse closed the previous year. At this stage, the race was increased to its present length, with the National typically run on the final Saturday of the corresponding festival.

Interestingly, most of the records set at this race were established years ago, with the three most successful runners (Couvrefeu, Southern Hero and Queen’s Taste) winning on three separate occasions. Queen’s Taste was the most recent to achieve this feat, but his final triumph came in 1956.

As we’ve already touched on, several runners have completed the English and Scottish Grand National double, with Red Rum the only one to achieve this feat in the same year (1974). The most recent runner to achieve this was Earth Summit, who claimed his sole Scottish Grand National back in 1994.

Your FAQs Answered

At this stage, all that’s left is to tackle some of your most frequently asked questions, so that you can make more informed decisions when betting on the Scottish Grand National. These include:

What are the Best Scottish National Betting Markets?

As we touched on earlier in the guide, each-way and place bets are amongst the most popular at the Scottish Grand National. This is due to the difficult and unpredictable nature of the race, which makes it hard to predict outright winners with any degree of certainty.

How Can I Bet on the Race?

If you attend in person, you’ll find plenty of pop-up bookmaker sites where you can wager on races in cash. Whether you’re attending Ayr Racecourse or watching at home, however, we’d recommend wagering through your smartphone so that you compare real-time odds across a number of operators and achieve the best value for your hard-earned bankroll!

Is There a Dress Code at the Scottish Grand National?

Unsurprisingly, smart dress is encouraged for the Scottish Grand National, with hospitality guests often preferring to dress up. Typically, gentlemen like to wear suits or smart trousers and blazer jacket combinations, while ladies really take advantage of the occasion to dress up!

When Do the Gates Open?

For the Scottish Grand National, the Ayr Racecourse gates open at around 11:00am. They may open a little later on Ladies’ Day, but we’d always recommend checking with the site directly before making plans!