16th March 2018
Having found a couple of winners in the handicaps at Cheltenham this week (with it all to play for in three races later today), I’m feeling well-and-truly in-the-zone and keen to target tomorrow’s Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter (3.35)….
The race rarely fails to attract a good-sized field and tomorrow is no exception with 18 horses going to post….
The bookies can’t decide at this stage which of three horses – Get On The Yager, Back To The Thatch or West Of The Edge – should be the outright favourite. No doubt the market – and weight of money – will ultimately decide for them….
But the top-of-the-market is of no interest to this column. Our radar is always tuned to locate the horses that the market is wrong-headedly ignoring, overlooking or underestimating at the prices….
This week is no exception. We’re taking the shorties on….
With the exception of Synchronised – who proved talented enough to go and win a Gold Cup two years later – it is the lightly-weighted horses that tend to best in Midlands Grand Nationals contested on outright heavy ground….
And the ground will be riding heavy tomorrow….
Had the horse been carrying less weight, I would very much have fancied Silsol for the job at the generally-available 16s….
The Paul Nicholls-trained horses is well-treated on a mark of 144 when judged against his exploits over hurdles and is sure to strike gold at some point….
But to do it tomorrow will require a gargantuan effort under top-weight in the prevailing conditions….
I’ll kick myself if the 9yo goes out and does the business – because the horse has been on my Watch List for some time now….
But all things taken together, I prefer to look elsewhere….
The one I like at the prices for tomorrow – the veteran ALFIE SPINNER at 16s and 20s – beat Silsol home in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow just after Christmas….
I’d put the horse up for that race at a big price for my ATC readers and Kerry Lee’s charge did not disappoint….
He might be 13-years-old now but he proved beyond doubt that there is life left in the old dog yet. He ran an absolute cracker – travelling and jumping like a dream.
He was beaten only by the winner and out-ran his odds in the most convincing fashion….
Last term he was 9th and beaten 23l in the showpiece Uttoxeter race. But he’d been on-track 6-weeks prior….
This time he’s had a proper break of 70 days before heading to Uttoxeter and I expect him to perform better for it. He appears to appreciate a break and has frequently performed with distinction off the back of one….
He’ll be refreshed, he gets his ground and I suspect he’s been primed for a serious tilt at what should be an easier assignment than the Welsh Grand National….
He’s running off a mark of 133 – just a pound in advance of the mark he ran off at Chepstow – and the claimer who partnered him that day retains the ride and takes off another valuable 5lbs.
I believe the horse has solid each-way claims at a nice price….
In tomorrow’s Midlands Grand National (Uttoxeter, 3.35)….
ALFIE SPINNER @ 16s & 20s (Generally)
Standard Place Terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. I’ll be going in each-way.
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.