Merigo ended a 28-year barren streak for locally-trained runners as he ran away with the Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
Ken Oliver’s Cockle Strand was the last Scottish-trained horse to bag the country’s premier jumps prize, in 1982 but Merigo righted that statistic with a superb staying performance.
Trained at Lockerbie by Andrew Parker, Merigo was sent off an 18-1 shot for the four-mile marathon and the result barely looked in doubt after jockey Timmy Murphy kicked on after the fourth-last fence.
There were plenty of casualties in the race with the pace-setting According To John crashing out at the fourth fence, taking a couple of others, including fellow Sir Robert Ogden-owned runner That’s Rhythm, with him.
However, Murphy managed to avoid any trouble and was firmly in the driving seat some way out, committing Merigo before the turn for home and building up a handsome lead.
Last year’s runner-up and 15-2 favourite Gone To Lunch emerged from the pack and set out in pursuit, but Merigo had already flown.
He passed the line with nine lengths in hand while No Panic was a further 19 lengths back in third, with Razor Royale edging out Dom D’Orgeval by a nose for fourth.
Owner Ray Green, who is also Murphy’s father-in-law, said: “It’s fantastic to win Scotland’s greatest chase and it ranks alongside Sparky Gale winning for me at the Cheltenham Festival.”