2-day fixture boasts over £600,000 in prize money
Prize money for April’s 2-day Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr is set to top £600,000 this year with the big race itself up £50,000 in value to £200,000 on Saturday April 22.
Last year’s renewal featured a historic 1-2 for Welsh trainer Christian Williams with Win My Wings and Kittys Light and while the winner has since been retired, Kitty’s Light has been dropped 8lbs in the ratings after 5 unsuccessful outings since his second place in Scotland.
The Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle on Scottish Grand National day, won last year by John McConnell’s Anna Bunina, will be boosted to £75,000, with the supporting card also including the £50,000 CPMS Novices’ Champion Handicap Chase over 3 miles and the £40,000 Scotty Brand Handicap Chase, a Premier handicap over two and a half miles.
McConnell has already stated that all roads will lead back to Ayr for Anna Bunina, a mare which went on to score at Killarney (twice) and Bellewstown over the summer.
The other main feature on the big day will be the Grade 2 Jordan Electrics Future Champions Novices’ Chase worth £45,000, the race won last year by the Michael Scudamore trained favourite Do Your Job from Minella Drama and Il Rodoto.
Day one of the meeting on Friday April 21 features the £50,000 Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase over two and a half miles and the Coral Seafield Trophy Mares’ Handicap Hurdle over 3 miles worth £30,000.
The 7-race card on day one will have prize money totalling £158,000 with Saturday’s big day offering a total of £450,000.
Ayr will hold it’s second meeting of 2023 on Monday January 9 with 5 further jumping fixtures scheduled through February and March before the big meeting on 21/22 April.
The Scottish Grand National is back to its normal calendar position behind the Grand National at Aintree after last year’s unusual timings which saw Ayr’s big race run before the Liverpool highlight.
Ayr’s Managing Director David Brown said: ” We’ve been working hard to get our biggest race in the jumping calendar up to £200,000 and we’re delighted that our ongoing partnership with Coral has helped us make sure that the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival will be one of the biggest 2-day jumps fixtures of the year.”
“The race is a major part of sporting life in Scotland and we look forward to hosting another high-class field of staying chasers for an event with a rich racing history, with our supporting races over the 2 days sure to attract major interest from Britain and Ireland.”
Note: There was no race in 2020 due to Covid and both the 2021 and 2022 runnings were staged as £150,000 handicaps.