Gallant Oscar out of Scottish Grand National

Concerns over drying ground sees Irish pre-race favourite declared a non-runner

Ground staff prepare the course before the 2015 Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

Ground staff prepare the course before the 2015 Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

 

Long-time ante-post favourite Gallant Oscar has been declared a non-runner in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr this afternoon due to the drying ground.

Third to The Druids Nephew at Cheltenham, the Tony Martin-trained nine-year-old was purchased this week by JP McManus, whose racing manager Frank Berry had warned of the possibility of not running if the ground dried out too much.

His defection leaves David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo and Sam Winner for the Paul Nicholls team likely to battle out favouritism for the prestigious marathon, in which early Aintree casualty Al Co bids to repeat last year’s success.

Martin’s I Shot The Sheriff is also a non-runner in the Scottish Champion Hurdle as he was reported to be coughing.

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