The Midlands National takes place at Uttoxeter (Sat 19th March 4.10pm) over 33-furlongs, and the naturally sapping nature of the terrain means the trip requires horses to have stamina in abundance. The quirky nature of the track also doesn’t suit plenty of horses.
In the last 10 renewals, only one winner has carried more than 10-12 (and Synchronized went onto to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup). One 6-year-old, two 7-year-olds, four 8-year-olds, and three 9-year-old have been successful in the last decade, whilst David Pipe has trained 4 of the last 5 winners.
6lb higher than when winning a class-3 off top-weight, and must shoulder the burden of 11-12 again here if he is to win. Trained by David Pipe though.
4lb higher than for last win, but is a course winner over hurdles. Looks sure to stay, and trainer very much in form.
Shotgun Paddy 14/1
Several creditable efforts over staying trips under big weights, including when 3rd in this year’s Welsh National, and second in the Eider.
Always looked the type who could excel over 4-miles, and is just 7lb higher for trainer who’s hit the board at Cheltenham this week.
Bob Ford 33/1
Hit and miss performer who’s unlikely to get the easy lead he enjoys.
Mad Brian 14/1
Irish raider who’s best run when 2nd in the Troytown would give him a squeak, though inconsistent.
Firebird Flyer 14/1
Ran his best race ever when second in the Welsh National this year, but has to carry a lot more weight here in a race that will be probably be run at a quicker tempo.
No Planning 20/1
Won off a mark of 132 last time, but has won off today’s mark of 138.
Back on his last winning mark of 136 and, though disappointing so far this season, he was going well in last year’s Scottish National when falling. Trainer in form this week.
Impressive winner last time in a lower grade, but up 11lb here, though won his only course start.
Summery Justice 33/1
Has run well in some of the big staying chases, but was only a distant fourth in this last year off a 1lb higher mark.
Subtle Grey 20/1
Hurdles winner off 121 before winning chases off 124 and 129. On 135 here but is going the right way.
Red Devil Lad 33/1
Fairly handicapped, and is 7lb better off with Katkeau for a 5-length beating earlier in the season. Could improve for step-up in distance and not without a chance.
Golden Chieftan 20/1
Had a great season for inform stable having won off 121 and 128. Off 135 now, but could relish the trip, and has won both his course starts.
Cultram Abbey 28/1
Quite well-fancied for the Eider but was an early casualty. 8lb higher than last winning mark, but is another who could improve for the trip.
Sizing Coal 6/1
Has the same connections as last year’s winner Goonyella, though isn’t proven over the distance like that horse.
Standing Ovation 25/1
7lb higher than last winning mark and, though he’s won going left-handed, he’s always looked better going right-handed. David Piped trained.
Rigadin de Beauchene 33/1
Often looked best at 28-furlongs, and usually only wins when the ground is heavy.
Courtown Oscar 22/1
Winner last-time out, but has plenty to prove from new high mark.
Count Guido Deiro 20/1
Won at Newbury last time out, but another hike in the weights in better company might find him out.
Not many of the runners fall into the normal winning weight-carrying bracket, and the ones that do don’t look classy enough. One horse who’s always looked like he might relish this sort of distance is Golden Chieftan, and he might offer a bit of value at 20/1.
Golden Chieftan @ 20/1 (Various Bookies)