Saturday 16th March 2019
Following the conclusion of the Cheltenham Festival its tradition that the next stop on the National Hunt calendar is Uttoxeter and and the Midlands Grand National meeting as we begin to enter ‘Grand National Season’.
Despite the showpiece event of the National Hunt season taking place in just the week before the Midland Grand National has seen a few of the best chasers around take its prize including Gold Cup winner Synchronized in 2010. This year’s renewal see’s one of the biggest fields in it’s history with over 20 runners looking to take their place, some of which i’ll take a look at within this preview. Enjoy!
Midlands Grand National
(Class 1) (Listed) (4m 2f)
The Midlands Grand National is the showpiece event of my local track Uttoxeter, a listed chase that’s contested over a Grand National trip of four miles and two furlongs. This year’s renewal is headed by Ms Parfois who’s a popular runner who’s only been seen once this term when finishing sixth in the Ladbrokes Trophy last time at Newbury. She’s probably the worthy favourite here on all known form and also has form over this sort of trip having finished a very close second in the four mile National Hunt Chase at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. Other market principals look to come in the form of American, Ballydine and Gordon Elliott’s Irish raider Folsom Blue who’s the mount of Davy Russell. Another Irish raider in the line up is Kilkishien for JJ Hanlon who’s a general 20/1 chance and has the eye catching jockey booking of Danny Mullins.
The Skelton’s have a prolific record around here and they saddle Get On The Yager who comes here with a bit to find on current form and consequently finds himself as a 20/1 shot. A couple of Grand National regulars line up here and these come in the form of Dawson City and Raz De Maree. The latter won the Welsh National in 2018 and Gavin Cromwell’s hugely popular 14 year old is a general 16/1 chance to add another to his decorated CV. Byrony Frost had another impressive time of it at Cheltenham and she teams up once again with Neil King on Milansbar who tries this distance for the first time, also trying this distance for the first time is Back To The Thatch who’s the mount of champion jockey Richard Johnson. Chef DO’euvre and Arthur’s Gift are others to note and come here as a viable players.
This is a race that has a notorious record of having very few horses complete so don’t be surprised to see less than half of the line up finish. This is mainly down to the stamina test on what can be a likewise testing track, stamina wise the likes of Ms Parfois and more notably Dawson City and Raz De Maree should be more comfortable than most. However this race often goes to horses at the bottom end of the weights and one of the horses at the bottom end of the weight spectrum that i’ve taken a chance on is BACK TO THE THATCH. He’s got a bit to prove stamina wise however he fits the bill for this race quite nicely despite that and put in a solid effort when last seen. He also has the services of champion jockey Richard Johnson. Another one I quite like is BALLYDINE for Charlie Longsdon. He was last seen when finishing third within the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock and has ran solid races all term. Stamina is also a question with him however if he puts in a clear round this time and gets the trip he’s certainly one of the more classier sorts in the line up.
EACH WAY: BALLYDINE (9/1)
EACH WAY: BACK TO THE THATCH (12/1)
1.50: WOULDUADAMANDEVEIT (2/1) – PERFECT MAN (7/1) (E/W)
2.25: CAPTAIN CATTISTOCK (7/2)
3.00: ACEY MILAN (6/1 (E/W) – LORD NAPIER (10/1) (E/W)
3.35: BALLYDINE (9/1) (E/W) – BACK TO THE THATCH (12/1) (E/W)
4.10: HIDEAWAY VIC (11/10)
4.45: CUDDLES MCGRAW (5/2)
5.20: TIGERALLEY (7/4)
5.50: JACKSON HILL (11/4)