Midlands Grand National Tips

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 to heavy 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 and Betting Offers, 3:35, 14th March 2020

The Midlands Grand National is the main race of the weekend after the conclusion of the Cheltenham Festival. It’s a very good contest to move the attentions of racing fans from the high class contests at Cheltenham towards the Grand National as, at 4 miles 2 furlongs, it is second only to the huge race at Aintree in terms of distance. With the coronavirus decimating the sporting calendar this is a great chance for Uttoxeter to shine and we should be in for a cracker.

Stamina as Important as Ever

Clearly, the Midlands Grand National is a race for proven stayers. Horses who are yet to win in a 3 mile chase are almost not worth backing according to the stats over the last 20 years or so. That is particularly true for the 2020 renewal as the official going at Uttoxeter the day before the race is heavy, soft in places.

This is going to be an almighty slog but there is an interesting quirk in the stats in that inexperienced horses have a good record in more recent renewals. 2018 winner, Regal Flow, is the only horse aged over 10 to have won in the last decade whilst novices and those with relatively few runs over fences should not be discounted.

Indeed, the winner of 10 years ago, Synchronised, won this on heavy ground in what was only his fourth start over fences and it should pay to favour progressive horses who are still very much improving.

Tizzard’s Charge a Worthy Favourite

14 horses are confirmed for the Midlands Grand National and it’s clear which way the market sees this one going. Christmas In April is the 4/1 favourite with Ladbrokes from Truckers Lodge who is available at 11/2 generally and that looks a fair reading of the race.

Colin Tizzard’s eight-year-old started his novice chasing season in good form, winning his first race over fences in just his second attempt. He has since followed that hot start with two good runs from three races over staying trips including when leaving 13 rivals in his shadow on heavy ground at Exeter.

Despite those promising performances, Christmas In April still appears unexposed and will only have to carry 10st 6lb so could be become just the second winning favourite in 10 years.

Dominateur Another Who Fits the Bill

Searching through the field for promising younger chasers who can kick on to win at this level leads you very quickly to Dominateur who catches the eye at chunky odds of 10/1 with bet365.

Oliver Sherwood’s seven-year-old really looks as though he could kick on to become a top quality staying chaser and has already shown an aptitude for very challenging conditions. Dominateur is more harshly treated by the handicapper off a mark of 144 which is enough for second top weight but does still have the class to outrun that burden.

The French-bred horse still has more room for improvement, especially over this sort of incredibly demanding trip, so is a great each way price.

Betting Predictions

The Midlands Grand National is usually an excellent betting heat and this year’s contest has not disappointed. We do have a very worthy favourite in the shape of Christmas In April at 4/1 with Ladbrokes and it would be no surprise were he to make the most of his decent handicap mark. Those looking for a longer odds each way shot also have a quality younger horse who fits the bill with Dominateur at 10/1 with bet365.