The 2017 Midlands National (Saturday 3.35) is run over 4-miles 1-furlong and 110 yards, and was first ever run in 1969.
- David Pipe trained 4 consecutive winners from 2011 to 2014
- Winning SPs have ranged from 6/1 to 25/1
- Winners were rated between 124 and 143
- Winners carried between 10-0 and 10-5
- Winners have been aged 6 to 9
- None of the last 7 winners hadn’t won last time out, but the previous 3 had
HOUBLON DES OBEAUX
This is a big drop in class for last year’s Denman Chase winner. Yet to try 4-miles, but could enjoy the slower pace of this race and easier fences off a mark 9lb lower than when third in the Welsh National earlier in the season.
Already won three-times this season but has a higher mark and a longer distance to contend with.
Back on a winning mark, but three poor runs since he last won.
Inconsistent sort, but capable on a going day, and this could have been a long-time plot by David Pipe for a horse who promises to stay 4-miles.
Fortunate to win last year’s race and, though back on the same mark as last year, he’ll probably need significant rain to be seen at his best, unless first-time cheek-pieces work the oracle.
On his highest ever mark, and not sure he’ll improve for this step-up in trip.
Worth a try at this trip, and this track should be much more suitable than Carlisle last time. Kerry Lee does well with staying types, but may just be in handicapper’s grip.
Been talked about as a well-handicapped horse all season, and this looks a drop-in-class. Stamina to prove, but connections though he’s stay this trip at Newcastle Last time, so he’s interesting.
3lb lower than when winning the 2014 renewal for David Pipe, and looks sure to have been targeted at the race by shrewd trainer Neil Mulholland. Obvious chance if on a going day, despite figures of P/F this season.
Keep creeping-up the weights, but also keeps galloping into the frame. Proven stamina, and could have his day if a few of the classier types don’t get home.
Doesn’t look obviously well-handicapped, but has the potential to improve for the step-up in trip.
Stamina assured after his win in the Eider Chase, but may have done his winning for the season as ground may be quicker than ideal, and he has a higher mark to contend with.
Probably has enough class to win one of these lucrative stayers’ races, but has run his best race fresh in the last 2 seasons.
3lb higher than when third in this race last season and, as an 8-year-old, he’ll still be getting stronger. Won over hurdles earlier in the season and, though he has jumping deficiencies, these fences aren’t the hardest to jump.
Down to a mark just 1lb higher than when winning the Welsh National, but was pulled-up in the 2014 renewal off an even lower mark.
10lb lower than when fourth last year, but 4-miles just seems to stretch his stamina. No surprise if he hits the frame, but may be susceptible to stringer stayers.
Higher in the weights in a better race than when completing a hat-trick, but further improvement can’t be ruled out.
CHASE THE SPUD
Really well-handicapped with Mysteree on their running at Haydock earlier this season, and could go very well from near the foot of the weights.
Former Eider Chase winner whose stamina is assured, but older than ideal at 12.
Pulled-up in last year’s event when not seeming to stay, but is 9lb lower this time around, and comes here in good form after hurdles win last time.
2017 Midlands Grand National Summary
Goulanes and Spookdooky appeal as two horse that have been targeted at this race all season, and should go well. However, a chance is taken on top-weight Houblon Des Obeaux, who has been placed off top-weight in better races than this, and should appreciate these easier fences.
2017 Midlands National Tip
Houblon Des Obeaux each-way @ 22/1 (Paddy Power) ¼ odds 5 places