The end of the Cheltenham Festival sees many punters and trainers switch their attention towards the upcoming Aintree Festival and the Grand National. Racing fans get a nice precursor to the biggest handicap of all with Saturday’s Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of this popular race which is run over 4 miles 2 furlongs. That distance added to the soft ground at Uttoxeter which is something of a galloping track and the 20 fences which must be safely navigated means will we have a very worthy winner of the near £85,000 prize for winning connections.
Midlands Grand National Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
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The Trends That Matter
As ever, there is a full strength field of 20 horses competing in the 2019 Midlands Grand National. That’s some way short of the numbers who will compete at Aintree but it still provides punters with a fairly difficult task on their hands.
To try and whittle down the options available the first thing to do is try to learn from previous renewals. The obvious thing that jumps out off the page is that this is not a race for favourite backers. The last three winners went off at 16/1, 11/1 and 16/1 and there has only been one winning favourite in the last 12 renewals.
Punters should not be put off turning their attentions away from the top of the market but it’s a little more complicated when it comes to the value of experience. On the one hand horses without winning form over 3 miles will struggle but on the other all but one of the last 15 winners was aged nine or younger. Finally, those carrying 10st 12lb or less should be favoured.
Back To The Thatch Can Reverse the Form With Chef D’Ouevre
Chef D’Ouevre comes into the Midlands Grand National on the back of a good win over 3 miles 3½ furlongs on soft ground at Haydock. He does deserve support but it’s the horse he beat in a ding dong battle down the final straight, Back To The Thatch, who is the one to back for the win on Saturday.
Henry Daly’s seven-year-old was well backed at Haydock and very nearly rewarded those who got on. It looked a case of lacking pace rather than stamina that day and the even longer trip at Uttoxeter should suit him very well so snap up the 12/1 that BetVictor are quoting while it lasts.
Kilkishen Ticks All the Boxes
Tt 20/1 with bet365, Kilkishen’s chances must be respected given that he ticks all the trends boxes. The nine-year-old won a decent handicap at Fairyhouse on New Year’s Day when he was in contention throughout in only his seventh start over fences. Although he hasn’t won subsequently, he has amassed more valuable experience.
Kilkishen is a real stayer who can end worries about the handicapper getting the better of him but the 10st 5lb he will carry looks more than fair so he should be competitive at 20/1 with bet365.