14 April 2024

Macdermott all the rage to give Mullins second National in space of a week

14 April 2024

The Coral Scottish Grand National meeting at Ayr this week could prove highly significant in the engrossing battle for the British trainers’ championship – with Willie Mullins’ Macdermott shortening significantly in price for the big race with the sponsors.

Mullins had a hugely successful Cheltenham Festival and was frequently in the money at Aintree too, not least when taking the Randox Grand National with I Am Maximum to add £500,000 to the pot of prize-money he has won in Britain this season.

That sum puts him ahead of Dan Skelton and Paul Nicholls and there is more money on offer still at the Ayr fixture coming up on Friday and Saturday, as Mullins seeks to emulate the great Vincent O’Brien, who won the British and Irish titles in successive years in the 1950s.

Coral have made Macdermott the 6-1 favourite for the Scottish National – which has a first prize of £112,540 – and Mullins the 1-2 favourite for the trainers’ title. In addition to the National, the Scottish Champion Hurdle is worth £56,270 to the winner.

“After the success of I Am Maximus in the Aintree showpiece on Saturday, punters are now backing Willie Mullins to make it a Grand National double with victory at Ayr and Macdermott is a significant market mover for the race, his odds tumbling from 10-1 to 6-1 clear favouritism, while the man himself is now 1-2 to land a first British trainers’ title,” said Coral’s David Stevens.

Officials at Ayr are understandably looking forward to the added interest in their big meeting after events at Aintree.

Clerk of the course Graeme Anderson said: “It’s pretty much all or nothing now for the title, Willie Mullins seems to be in control.

“We’re hoping he’ll be coming to Ayr, it really adds to the racing and definitely adds to the occasion, we’re really looking forward to it.

“We’ll see what tomorrow brings when the entries come in, but we hope they’re all in there and he’s pushing to get that title.

“Paul Nicholls has always been a big supporter of this meeting and then obviously with the win on Saturday, Willie Mullins has come on the scene. He hasn’t had a lot of runners at Ayr in the past so it’ll be good to see a good few of his.”

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