Scotland the Brave Bid for National Glory
One of the expert pundits' most-fancied horses for this year's National is undoubtedly Silver by Nature.
For his debut in the great race, he's carrying a potentially winning 10st 12lb and is one of the leading fancies at around 14/1 in the Aintree Grand National betting, though he looks sure to start shorter on the day.
Trained by Lucinda Russell and owned by Geoff Brown, Chairman of St Johnstone Football Club, Silver by Nature won the Grand National trial at Haydock in February by an impressive 15 lengths and has very legitimate claims to the main event on this basis.
If successful, Silver By Nature will be joining an extremely elite band of Scottish winners. In fact, there has been just one Scottish-trained winner to date – 1979 winner Rubstic – who was trained by John Leadbetter in the Borders.
Trained near Kinross, the nine year old Silver by Nature has had 23 starts, of which he's won six and been placed five times. As Grand National betting tips go, there are worse ones around.
He has been paired with jockey Peter Buchanan for the last two years, and Buchanan will ride him at Aintree. Also on the training team is Russell's partner and eight times champion jockey, Peter Scudamore.
It's possible though, that the ground will be against him. When he romped home at Haydock, the going was heavy so the expected good going at Aintree may cause him problems. He's also untried on the Aintree course and may find the four and a half miles a little too much, never having raced further than 3m 5f, with his longest win coming over 3m 4f. Nevertheless, Lucinda Russell believes stamina is one of his strengths.
If he can win on Saturday, Silver by Nature will also be the first grey to win the National in 50 years.
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