The Scottish Grand National


Interested in Scottish Grand National betting? Read our guide to one of Scottish horse racing’s iconic events here! Learn about betting strategy for this classic race

While the Aintree Grand National remains probably the UK’s most famous horse race, the Scottish Grand National is less well known. Nevertheless, the event held North of the Border remains one of Britain’s classic horse races, and many winners of the Scottish National have gone on to win the English equivalent.

Here, we’ll give you a brief guide to this famous race, and tell you about some famous past winners who have also gone to win the English Grand National. You can also pick up a few hints about how to put together a strategy for success when you’re scanning the odds for the race at the bet365 horse racing page or somewhere similar. Read on to discover more about this classic event of horse racing in Scotland.

Scottish Grand National

What is the Scottish Grand National?

The Scottish Grand National is a National Hunt race staged annually in spring at Ayr Racecourse in southwestern Scotland. The race dates back to 1858, when it began life as the West of Scotland Grand National and was held at Houston Racecourse in Renfrewshire near Paisley. From 1867 until 1965 the race was staged at Bogside Racecourse in Hamilton, before moving to its present location in 1966.

The race is run over a distance of 3 miles 7 furlongs and 176 yards over 27 fences, and takes place during Ayr’s two-day Scottish Grand National Festival race meeting. The most successful trainer since the race moved to its current location is Ken Oliver, who trained four winners at Ayr between 1970 and 1982.

Famous winners of the Scottish Grand National

Some iconic horses have won the Scottish National. Here are three famous horses that have also won the English version of the National at Aintree.

  • Little Polveir: Little Polveir won the Scottish National in 1987 when he was ridden by the legendary jockey Peter Scudamore. Two years later, the horse would win the Aintree Grand National when ridden by Jimmy Frost, coming from the field to win by seven lengths.
  • Earth Summit: Earth Summit won the Scottish National in 1995, ridden by the jockey David Bridgwater. In 1998, the horse would triumph in the Aintree Grand National. He is the only horse to have won the trio of the English, Scottish and Welsh Grand Nationals.
  • Red Rum: Red Rum is possibly the most famous horse to have lived in the UK. He won the Scottish National in 1974, the year in which he also achieved his second of three wins in the English National.
scottish grand national
Image credit: William Hill

Betting Strategies for the Scottish Grand National

As with the Grand National, Scottish Grand National betting has to take into account the fact that the race is a massive test of courage and endurance for both horse and jockey. The race is almost four miles long, and the horses have to clear 27 fences. This means that long odds horses can spring surprises from the field as the favourites fall or retire.

This makes Each Way bets a good idea when betting on the Scottish Grand National. An Each Way bet pays out if your horse places or wins, so it is a good insurance policy in a race in which horses do not finish, or they become exhausted and get beaten into second or third place in the last few furlongs.

Familiarity breeds success in Scottish Grand National betting

Of course, the best way of improving your chances of placing successful bets on this race is to do your research. Whatever race you are betting on, you need extensive knowledge of the horses, jockeys and trainers if you want to place winning wagers. To maximise your chances of success, begin studying the form of the various horses and jockeys weeks before the race.

Open Account Offer Up to $200 in Bet Credits at Bet365
UP TO $200
In Bet Credits
Get Up To $200 In Bet Credits
Soccer, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS & more
The world’s favourite online sports betting site

With races like the Scottish Grand National, you also need to keep track of the odds, which will often fluctuate before the race. This is due to the event’s high public profile, which means that many people who do not usually bet on horse racing place wagers on this race. If a famous horse is taking part in the race, many of these occasional punters will bet on it, and this can cause other horses’ odds to lengthen. This is a good opportunity to spot good value and astute bettors should always spot these kinds of patterns when scanning the odds for the Scottish Grand National at the bet365 horse racing site.


The Scottish National is a highlight of the British racing calendar, and many of its winners have gone on to enjoy success in the English Grand National. Anyone who scans the odds for the Scottish grand national at bet365 or elsewhere needs to study the form carefully before they bet, and always remember that races such as this can throw up surprise results. 

Privacy Policy