The Weekend Bulletin (Sat 14th March)
The BHA has issued a statement to the effect that it is a “business as usual’ approach as it liaises with government about the Coronavirus outbreak. At the time of writing the British racing’s Covid-19 industry steering group are due to meet again on Friday afternoon to discuss the latest developments and its potential impact on racing.
On the basis that the racing will go ahead as planned on Saturday we have the Big Race Trends for the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter for which 14 have been declared.
Just before we move on to those, how has the Cheltenham Festival been for you so far?
The Betting Insider Club Members have been enjoying a great time of it with plenty of winners and big priced placers coming from the ante-post coverage, Champ – Won 4/1, Bachasson (adv EW) – placed 33/1, Min (adv 6/1) – Won 2/1, along with the Festival Micro Methods, Ravenhill – Won 12/1, Aramax – Won 15/2, Out Sam (adv EW) – placed 33/1, Samcro – Won 4/1 and Concertista – Won 9/2.
The ante-post coverage are a regular feature of the Members Reports which also include regular fresh and profitable Micro Methods and form an integral part of the comprehensive package on offer to Members.
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The Marston’s 61 Deep Midland’s Grand National (4m 2f; Listed Handicap Chase) Uttoxeter 15.35pm
At the time of writing we are still in the midst of the Cheltenham Festival and whilst the racing that is due to follow immediately afterwards can’t possibly reach the levels at Prestbury Park, we do have the gruelling Midlands Grand National from Uttoxeter.
The track has played host to this prestigious contest since 1969 and with £150,000 guaranteed in prize money it promises to be a competitive affair with 15 standing their ground at the 48 hours stage.
The first thing to note is that we need to look to those carrying 10-12 or less as only 4 horses have carried more than this to victory in 20 years, whilst the last 10 winners were all rated between 126 and 138 and more recently the last 6 renewals came within the 130-138 band.
16 of the last 21 winners posted a top 5 effort last time out, and last year’s winner, Potter’s Corner, was close up lto in the Eider with every chance when he fell 2 fences from home. In doing so he became the second winner to have fallen on their previous outing so any of that ilk needs some consideration before discounting too readily.
All bar one of the winners since 1997 was aged 7yo or older so experience with age seems to be a positive, and 11 of the last 15 winners were aged 8yo or 9yo so that can be used to narrow it down further.
16 of the last 21 winners came from the top 8 in the betting and as we normally get around 16 going to post that could be used to narrow the field in half. The caveat to that is the last 4 winners went off at 20/1, 11/1 and 16/1 twice.
A break of at least 17 days also looks good (18/21) but Regal Flow remarkably won this after a 5 day break in 2018.
All bar one winner since 1997 had tasted victory over at least 3 miles and 19 of the last 21 winners had won between 1 and 4 times over fences previously.
18/21 had won no more than 2 handicap chases and 19/21 last competed in a handicap chase so those with a preparation run over hurdles should be avoided based on the trends, but after the winter we have had it is possibly not a given to automatically discount.
From a trainer perspective the only statistic with any significance is that David Pipe won 4 on the bounce between 2011 and 2014.
Finally, a note on the Irish trainers, where we need to take note when they send one over. Their combined record since 1997 is 5-39, with a further 6 placing. Jessica Harrington has won a couple from only 5 runners and Noel Meade and Jim Dreaper have also saddled winners of this race.
All that gives us a fairly solid profile for your typical Midlands National winner:
- Carrying 10-12 or less
- Rated 126 to 138
- Aged 8yo or 9yo
- Top 8 in the betting (not as strong in recent runnings)
- Off the track for 17 days or longer
- Won over 3 miles or further
- Won 1 to 4 times over fences
- No more than 2 previous handicap chase wins
- Last raced in a handicap chase
- Trained by David Pipe
- Sit up and take note of Irish runners
- Top 5 finish LTO
We will be reviewing the runners’ early doors raceday with regard to the above key trends and you can find out the final selection(s) below.
Sat 14th March
The two at the head of the market both have progressive profiles and Christmas In April has three wins in his last four starts, notably with some ease at Exeter last time. Trucker’s Lodge belied his inexperience over fences (3 runs) to run a cracker in the Welsh National and only up 2lb as a result looks a worthy favourite. So an unoriginal choice and also an ew saver on the Irish runner Se Mo Laoch who could go well off his light weight especially given the past record of Irish runners in the race.
Trucker’s Lodge – 2pts Win Gen 9/2
Se Mo Laoch – 1/2pt EW Gen 14/1 (1/5, 4pl)
Together we can win in 2020!
Darren & Steve
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