The Racing Horse offer more key trends to point the reader in the direction of winners, if not, then at least help narrow down some of the field to highlight the horses that fit the best profile of past winners. This Saturday we look at the Betfred Midlands Grand National and will attempt to pick the 1-2-3.
Worth reminding ourselves they are racing for winning prize money of £70,338 and will be racing on very heavy ground, so we can forget good to soft ground horses. Let's see what the trends tell us?
3.35 Uttoxeter: Betfred Midlands Grand National Chase Handicap (Listd) 4m1f110y ITV
14/14: Aged 9yo or younger
13/14: Had won between 1-4 times over fences before
12/14: Carried 10st 12lbs or less
12/14: Had won over at least 3m (fences) before
11/14; Won by an Irish bred horse
11/14: Had raced within the last 8 weeks
10/14: Carried 10st 9lbs or less
10/14: Had never run at Uttoxeter before
10/14: Officially rated 133 or less
10/14: Unplaced favourites
.9/14: Finished in the top 3 last time out
.8/14: Aged 7 or 8yo
.8/14: Came from the top 3 in the betting
.7/14: Returned a double-figure-price in the betting
.4/14: Won last time out
.4/14: Trained by David Pipe
.3/14: Won by an Irish-trained horse
.2/14: Winning favourites
The average winning SP in the last 14 runnings is 11/1
Stamina is always at a premium in this and many will not get home in the conditions, we are particularly looking at weight carrying and how difficult that will be...
THE RACING HORSE VERDICT: This race is always very competitive and cannot be solved without the trends (unless you are just plain lucky). Narrowing down the field is essential and we remind our readers that all of the last 14 winners were aged 9yo or younger thus reducing half of the field. Then looking at weight carried we note that 12 of the last 14 carried 10st 12lbs or less and the relevance of these two trends should not be ignored.
THE ARTFUL COBBLER looks the main player receiving weight all round, proven form in testing conditions and fits our winning profile. His trainer Henry Daly seemed confident and said: "He has a nice racing weight and has crept into a £125,000 race off a mark of 121. He's in very good heart at home and he'll stay the trip and handle the ground." (He has won a hurdle race and three chases from 2m 4f to 3m 5f on ground varying from good to soft to heavy. A winner at 13/2 in a chase at Lingfield over 3m 5f (heavy) on his latest outing last month, beating Petite Power by 1/2l. Has won 3 times this season). Daly also has the current favourite in the race in Back To The Thatch but The Artful Cobbler is our clear choice.
BILLY BRONCO has claims. This unexposed 7yo staying chaser has only had 8 runs under his belt and then bumped into a sharp improver over 3m6f at Catterick latest. At the time of posting he trades at odds of around 40/1 and this seems attractive. (Successful in a hurdle race and a NH flat race at 2m and 3m on heavy ground. Beaten 15l by I Just Know when second of 9 at 11/2 on his latest outing in a chase at Catterick over 3m 6f (soft) in January).
Our filtration suggests BACK TO THE THATCH will be in the mix. His trainer told us: "I'd just started to think 'he's going quite well'in the Eider and all of a sudden he went, which was a bit frustrating. Fortunately it was a quite a soft fall for horse and jockey, and I hope this should be a nice race for him. You never know if they're going to stay four miles two furlongs but he gives every indication he will." A clear round and this one finishes in the first two or three. His age is the only negative and it is hard for a 6yo to win under today's conditions. (Successful in a hurdle race and a chase at 2m 7f and 3m on soft and heavy ground. Fell at the 16th when 6/1 at Newcastle over 4m 1f (soft) in a chase won by Baywing last month on his latest outing).
GET ON THE YAGER’s Rowland Meyrick win is working out well, and with the potential for better still over this sort of trip, he receives the vote, particularly as several of his rivals are arriving from hard races in the Eider. Others to consider include Back To The Thatch and the Dr Richard Newland-trained pair West of The Edge and Bob Ford.
SELECTIONS 1st The Artful Cobber 9/1 2nd Billy Bronco 40/1 3rd Back To The Thatch 6/1f
Today's Pacafi: click here
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