The Weekend Bulletin (Sat 16nd March)
It is hard to believe that as this is being penned that we are reaching the finale of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival with just Gold Cup Day to go! There have been some memorable performances and even the weather played its part by avoiding the cancellation of the second day when the worst was feared via the forecasted storms and gales.
No sooner will we have dusted ourselves down from the highs of the Festival the equine action continues at pace into Saturday where the feature at Uttoxeter is the 2019 renewal of the Midlands Grand National. This race was given the Nick Hardman (Big Race Tips) treatment for the brand new Insiders Club Members Report and a summary of the top trends that he uncovered are detailed below:-
Marston’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand National (4m 2f; Listed handicap chase) Uttoxeter 3.35pm
No sooner have we had time to catch our breath after the Cheltenham Festival than we have the Midlands National to unravel over a marathon trip in excess of 4 miles. We have had some previous success in this and hopefully we can repeat the trick this year.
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. The last 10 winners were all rated between 126 and 138 and that is another stat we want to look for.
16 of the last 20 winners posted a top 5 effort last time out. All bar one of the winners since 1997 was aged 7yo or older so avoid the younger types.
10 of the last 14 winners were aged 8yo or 9yo so that can be used to narrow it down further.
16 of the last 20 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.
A break of at least 17 days also looks good (17/20) but Regal Flow remarkably won this after a 5 day break last year.
All bar one winner since 1997 had tasted victory over at least 3 miles.
18 of the last 20 winners had won between 1 and 4 times over fences previously.
17/20 had won no more than 2 handicap chases and 18/20 last competed in a handicap chase so those with a prep over hurdles should be avoided if the trends are anything to go by.
From a trainer perspective, David Pipe (Dell’ Arca) won 4 on the bounce between 2011 and 2014 and no other trainer has managed to win this more than once since 1997.
Finally, a note on Irish trainers. Sit up and take note when they send one over (Folsom Blue, Raz De Maree, Kilkishen). Their combined record since 1997 is 5-36. Jessica Harrington alone is 2 winners from 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
- 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
Sat 16th March
The Midlands National and the trends point to Chef D’Oeuvre, Arthur’s Gift and Kilkishen. I think the ground will be too testing for the latter. At a bigger price Prime Venture’s second to Ramses De Teille is decent form. That was over 3m so this trip is an unknown. Milansbar has a really decent shout on his previous exploits in top staying races he stays forever and if on a going day could be the one.
Milansbar @8/1 (was 12/1 originally)
Prime Venture @22/1 e/w (1/5 odds, 5 places)
Chef D’Oeuvre @12/1
Arthur’s Gift @12/1
Together We Can Win in 2019
Darren & Steve