Coral Scottish Grand National
Ayr 15:35
Grade 3 Handicap Chase,
£200,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus,
3m 7f 176y, Class 1   
Saturday 20th April 2024


1 Macdermott 18/1
2 Surrey Quest 20/1
3 Git Maker 8/1
4 Klarc Kent 50/1
26 ran Distances: nse, 4½l, 1¾l
Time: 8m 25.96s (slow by 21.96s)

Willie Mullins secured a potentially decisive blow in the trainers’ championship race when Macdermott emerged victorious at Ayr.

The unexposed novice, an 18-1 chance, edged out Surrey Quest in a thrilling late battle, becoming the first six-year-old to claim this prestigious prize since Earth Summit 30 years ago. Despite early setbacks with Mr Incredible pulling up before the first fence and We’llhavewan falling, Mullins still had ample firepower, with four runners still in the race.

Sara Bradstock’s Mr Vango was heavily backed as the race favourite, but it was Macdermott who stole the show. The eight-year-old Mr Vango led for most of the race, but Macdermott and Surrey Quest surged ahead on the final circuit. In a nail-biting finish, Macdermott prevailed by a mere nose, securing the victory.

Git Maker finished third, while Mullins added to his prize money with fourth-placed Klarc Kent at 50-1 odds. The win puts Mullins on the verge of making history as the first Irish handler to claim the British trainers’ crown since Vincent O’Brien 70 years ago.

Mullins admitted he feared the worst as the front two crossed the line, saying: “I thought we were beaten, but then one of my owners opened up the betting on his app and we were favourite and the second horse was 14-1. The odds changed a bit in their favour, but then the result came out.”

Earth Summit famously went on to claim Grand National glory at Aintree and Mullins believes Macdermott could follow in his footsteps.

He told Racing TV: “To me, the way he jumped was spectacular, I’d have no problem aiming him for Aintree next year or for the Irish National, we’ll see but we’ll be aiming for all those chases.

“He’s got age on his side, so it’s fantastic. He just got experience every day he went out; we started him off at two miles and just kept running him for experience, because he hasn’t got runs under his belt and last year it took me all season to get him fit enough.

“He’s a big, lazy fella and he just takes so much training. And he’s so laid back, but now he’s getting the hang of it and if we can get him in this sort of form, it’ll be straight to those kind of staying chases for him to run in.”

Reflecting on a dramatic race, Mullins – still riding high after Aintree glory with I Am Maximus a week ago – said: “We had one go before the first and one fall at the first, then we had two up the front and two out the back, so I said ‘well we’ve both ends of the race covered’.

“The two up front finished first and fourth and Spanish Harlem came on to be sixth, so he ran a great race and there’s going to be a good race in him too.

“The sun’s out, it’s a fantastic crowd and it’s just turned out to be an amazing day.”

The winning jockey, who is the trainer’s nephew, told ITV Racing: “An unexposed Willie Mullins novice in a staying handicap chase is what you want to be on.

“He has his jumping issues and we ended up on the deck one day in Limerick, but even the fall that day has taught him how to be efficient.

“He made a few mistakes out there today, but I got a fantastic jump at the fourth- and third-last and he was good and tough when I needed him at the back of the last.”


Coral Scottish Grand National
 £200,000 guaranteed, 5yo plus, 3m 7f 176y, Class 1
26 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

1    Macdermott 6 10-7 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 18/1
nse Surrey Quest 7 10-3 Toby Lawes Kevin Brogan 20/1
Git Maker 8 10-3 Jamie Snowden Gavin Sheehan 8/1
Klarc Kent 8 10-2 W P Mullins Sean O'Keeffe 50/1
1 Ontheropes 10 10-11 W P Mullins Brian Hayes 66/1
1 Spanish Harlem 6 10-10 W P Mullins Paul Townend 12/1
Ballygrifincottage 9 10-8 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 16/1
5 Iron Bridge 8 10-9 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 20/1
Whistleinthedark 9 10-8 L J Morgan Danny McMenamin 40/1
10 Autonomous Cloud 8 10-4 Fergal O'Brien Jonathan Burke 22/1
9 My Silver Lining 8 10-3 Emma Lavelle James Best 14/1
FELL I nis Oirr 7 10-3 Lucinda Russell Derek Fox 10/1
PU Elvis Mail 10 11-3 N W Alexander Bruce Lynn 28/1
PU Secret Reprieve 10 10-2 Evan Williams James Turner 66/1
PU Punitive 10 10-2 Peter Bowen William Maggs 125/1
PU Broken Halo 9 10-5 Paul Nicholls Bryony Frost 40/1
PU Tommie Beau 9 10-6 Seamus Mullins Micheal Nolan 33/1
PU Anglers Crag 9 10-4 Brian Ellison Henry Brooke 14/1
PU Beauport 8 11-1 Nigel Twiston-Davies Jordan Nailor 28/1
PU Whacker Clan 8 10-2 Henry De Bromhead Rachael Blackmore 18/1
PU Mr Incredible 8 11-9 W P Mullins Mr P W Mullins 7/1
PU Gold Cup Bailly 8 10-10 S R B Crawford J J Slevin 66/1

PU Stay Away Fay 7 12-0 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 18/1
PU Mr Vango 8 10-5 Mrs Sara V Bradstock Jack Tudor 4/1F
PU Egbert 7 10-2 Alan King Brendan Powell 50/1
UR We'llhavewan 9 10-2 W P Mullins Kieran Callaghan 25/1