Scottish Grand National: Brian Hughes booked to ride Innisfree Lad

David Dennis is delighted to have secured the services of Brian Hughes forInnisfree Lad in the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr on Saturday.

By Keith Hamer
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 5:24 pm
Jockey Brian Hughes will be a contender in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr
Jockey Brian Hughes will be a contender in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr

Hughes, who has an unassailable lead in his quest to win the jockeys' championship for a second time, has yet to take the valuable four-mile handicap chase.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Dennis rates Innisfree Lad as having a "good each-way chance" and Hughes knows the horse well having ridden him six times before, including one victory.

"I spoke to his agent and said we'd be mad keen for him to ride if he was available," said Dennis. "Thankfully, he rang at the five-day stage and said Brian was available so he can ride him."

The Worcestershire trainer was pleased the weights have been raised 10lb, putting Innisfree Lad on a tidy 10st 11lb. He said: “H e's got 10st 11lb now which brings him into the handicap nicely. His third in the Eider puts him hopefully bang in there with a good each-way chance."Innisfree Lad had earlier shown his liking for extreme distances when third in the Borders National at Kelso in December, where the ground was softer than ideal."He's quite versatile, but he doesn't want heavy ground. It was a bit annoying in Kelso's Borders National. It rained heavily the night before, but he still ran an absolute cracker in that," said Dennis."It was just too soft for him in an ideal world. Good to soft, soft would be fine, but if it was heavy I wouldn't be sure he'd run. They are currently good to soft which is perfect."