Friday, March 13, 2020

Midlands Grand National 2020

A curtailed post on Gold Cup day to look at tomorrow's Midlands Grand National (3.35); the going at Uttoxeter is described as heavy, soft in places.

With other major sporting events postponed or cancelled on account of the coronavirus pandemic, you feel it's only a matter of time before racing is affected.

Ladbrokes Trophy winner De Rasher Counter stands his ground; Ben Jones can claim three but the top weight still has to give away a minimum of ten pounds to his rivals over this marathon four mile two furlong trip. Petite Power, Sheneededtherun, Very First Time and Financial Outcome all contest this from out of the handicap.

Christmas In April won the Sussex National at Plumpton in January and the Devon National at Exeter last month and as a result is now rated 14 pounds higher. I'm just concerned this will may well prove one trip to the well too many.

Truckers Lodge is priced up favourite on the back of his second behind Potters Corner (won this last year off 135) in the Welsh National; the handicapper has raised Paul Nicholls' charge just one pound for that effort but this trip is the best part of four furlongs further.

Prime Venture was fourth in that Welsh National, beaten just over four lengths, and the handicapper has dropped Evan Williams' charge one pound. Fourth in this race last year off 139 he tries this time off 135 and connections fit blinkers for the first time. You can see why this one makes plenty of appeal but at 7/1 now the value has disappeared.

Joe Farrell would prefer better ground while the mare Sheneededtherun has really improved for a move of yard but this represents a step up in class.

I'm considering two at an each-way price: Dominateur and Just Your Type.

The former is unexposed; in the RP Weekender [11-15.12.19] Oliver Sherwood said:

"I think he can make up into a nice staying chaser and could be worth following."

Just Your Type finished second behind Bigirononhiship over an extended four miles at Kelso in December. He never really travelled next time in the Towton at Wetherby and has since undergone wind surgery; if that surgery has helped the cause, 14/1 (five places) looks tempting. Connections have ditched the tongue-tie tried in the Towton.

Along with Captain Drake (unseated twice in last three runs), Just Your Type is joint top-rated on Racing Post ratings.

It's certainly a risky wager but it may just be the last one for quite some time...

For those with money to burn after Cheltenham Just Your Type (14/1) is the each-way suggestion; Sky Bet pay one fifth the odds five places.


Anonymous said...

Just Your Type made my short-list and I can see him running a big race but, in the end, I opted to sit out the Midlands Grand National.

In the preceding Burton Union Handicap Hurdle, I thought old boy Clyne might outrun his 20/1 odds. His last win came in this race in 2018, he was given a revised mark of 152 for that win and has now not scored 10 subsequent runs.

His efforts this term have been decent enough. He’d have found the Welsh Champion hurdle too sharp on his seasonal debut, sent off favourite next time out at Aintree he may found the going quicker than ideal. He then put in a good couple of efforts in handicaps, the latter over CD when a 5L 3rd to today’s rival Theos Charm [Clyne 9lbs better off today] before being out classed LTO in the Rendlesham.

The handicapper has dropped him to a mark off 144 [2lbs below his 2018 win] and the trainer’s daughter Isabel takes the ride and claims 7lbs. The yard looks in good form and Isabel has won on her last two of her last three rides so her confidence should be high.

Danger abounds from younger, less exposed rivals but I’m happy to play at 20/1 4 places ¼ the odds in the hope Clyne can get involved in the finish.

Racing, sport and society looks like undergoing change we’ve not seen in our lifetime…it will be a challenge to all.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW!

GeeDee said...

Just Your Type (18/1) didn't prove himself particularly well-named in the Midlands Grand National.

Racing from the front on the first of the three circuits he put in a couple of scratchy leaps and, unfortunately, the number of niggling mistakes increased as the race progressed until he found himself at the back of the field on the final circuit and then pulled up at the entrance to the home straight - seven of the fourteen starters failed to complete.

That's not my type at all. My type is a beast who jumps well, stays the trip and comes home in front. Like Truckers Lodge (6/1). He may not be the biggest but he clearly has no stamina issues and won this slog in the mud in convincing fashion.

Captain Drake (7/1) had unseated Sean Bowen twice in his last three outings and he did his level best to give Bryan Carver the same treatment at the final flight here; the five pound claimer performed a minor miracle to stay in the plate and collect second, some 18 lengths behind the winner, while Joe Farrell (12/1) put in an eye-catching performance on ground thought unlikely to suit come home third. Having won the 2018 Scottish Grand National with this one, connections will be making plans for a trip up north to Ayr next month - providing, of course, racing is still taking place then...