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Scottish horses prepare for £1m Grand National race

Seeyouatmidnight and Captain Redbeard will aim to clear the 16 fences at Aintree.

One For Arthur crossed the line first in 2017 but misses out this year.
One For Arthur crossed the line first in 2017 but misses out this year. David Davies/PA Wire/ PA Images

The greatest steeplechase on the horse racing calendar, the Grand National, takes place this Saturday.

40 runners and riders will aim to clear the 16 fences on the fabled Aintree course in pursuit of the sport's most coveted title, with the winner due to take home £1m.

Last year's champion horse One For Arthur, the second Scottish-trained horse to win the National, misses out this time through injury.

Two Scottish hopefuls are fit and ready to go on Saturday, however, and are intent on replicating One For Arthur's success.

Nine-year-old gelding Captain Redbeard is much fancied after hitting form in the build-up to the big race.

Redbeard won the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase at Haydock in testing conditions before Christmas to spark hope of a National run.

That result, followed up by second in the Peter Marsh Chase back at Haydock in January, convinced owner Stuart Coltherd the National should be the season's aim.

A victory over the hurdles at Ayr in a prep race for Aintree has further emboldened the Borders stable.

Coltherd's 19-year-old jockey son Sam is confident heading into the race having made it round the National circuit on his previous two appearances.

Last year's winning trainer Lucinda Russell fancies their chances of keeping the title north of the border.

She said: "Captain Redbeard is a lovely horse, for me he seems a perfect Grand National contender."

Seeyouatmidnight, Sandy Thomson's star horse, only qualified for the National three weeks ago after missing a large portion of the year following surgery to remedy a wind problem.

But the ten-year-old gelding has only been out of the money in three of his 16 races under rules and has been long primed for a National run-out.

Thomson said: "He's been an absolute star, he's done nothing but amaze us.

"He's not run many times but he's taken us to great places and hopefully Saturday can be another great day."

The race is live on STV this Saturday at 5.15pm.

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