Al Co won the 2014 Scottish Grand National but is now a teenager and is unlikely to enjoy today’s conditions. VIVALDI COLLONGES is also making his hunter chase debut but he never really fulfilled his potential under Rules and appeared to have fallen out of love with the game when last seen. However, a spell hunting may have reignited his enthusiasm and he won a race at Ayr back in 2016 in which Cultram Abbey, who was receiving plenty of weight, fell when struggling. Nicky Richards’ runner proved his well-being at Alnwick last month, however, and leading amateur Richard Harding is in the saddle. Winged Crusader also won at Alnwick last month but, like Thomond, appears to have a lot to find on these terms.
Al Co (FR) 9-1 (11-2) Jumped left, led, headed after 3rd, tracked leader until 14th, weakened before 3 out, 7th of 10, 32 1/4l behind Virgilio (11-12) at Aintree 3m 1f hcp (2) gd in May.
Cultram Abbey 1-3fav (12-0) A.p; led on bit 3 out; easy, won at Alnwick 3m gd in Dec beating Court Painter (12-0) by 8l, 5 ran.
Vivaldi Collonges (FR) 33-1 (11-12) In touch, lost place 15th, blundered 17th, soon behind and pulled up, at Ayr 4m hcp (1) gd in Apr.
Winged Crusader (IRE) 4-6fav (11-0) A.p; led 14; stayed on wl, won at Alnwick 3m gd in Dec beating Hand Act Or Part (11-0) by 5l, 6 ran.
Thomond (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Chased leader in 2nd, dropped to 3rd before 4 out and ridden in 5th before next, no extra and kept on same pace from 2 out, 5th of 11, dist behind Swingbridge (11-1) at Kilbeggan 3m 1f hcp Good - Yielding in Aug.