It’s never easy re-focusing after the rollercoaster ride of the Cheltenham Festival has come to an end.
This year’s meeting was certainly high on drama, and despite the high profile absences we ended up with two worthy horses reaching the pinnacle of the sport in Buveur D’Air and Sizing John.
If you can get over the literal and metaphorical hangover it is worth making the effort to tune into the action at Kempton and Uttoxeter this afternoon as there are a couple of big field handicaps to get stuck into.
Betfred Midlands Grand National
The ground conditions will be contrasting at the two tracks and some overnight rain means that the Midlands National will be run on soft ground.
Jonjo O’Neill showed again yesterday with Minella Rocco what a good trainer of staying chasers he is and SPOOKYDOOKY looks primed to run well having returned to form at Exeter last time out. He was only beaten 7 lengths here as a novice last year and is 10lbs lower today.
PORTRAIT KING is also a regular in these and seems to be getting better with age. He has a first time visor on and was well backed in the Eider to suggest he is in good form at home.
He was brought down early at Newcastle where GEVREY CHAMBERTIN was also a faller. His departure came much later in the contest and he looked to be running a big race at the time. He has a nice prize in him and marathon trips could be the key.
Mad Brian and Cogry look the dangers.
|Spookydooky (ew)||3.35 Uttoxeter||7/1||Bet365|
|Portrait King (ew)||3.35 Uttoxeter||33/1||Bet365|
|Gevrey Chambertin (ew)||3.35 Uttoxeter||12/1||Bet365|
Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle
At Kempton, the better ground should suit the decent flat pair of TOP TUG and KEEP IN LINE who both represent Alan King.
Top Tug definitely looks ready for this step up in trip and has been taking on some decent novices all season. The same is true of Keep In Line – he possibly hated the soft ground when flopping at Cheltenham last time, and is worth a second chance.
Dan Skelton is proving to be the man to follow with his handicapper hurdlers, so Bandsman looks a danger, but most of Nicky Henderson’s string love this ground and improve for it, which makes DIVINE SPEAR the other one to back.
Sky Bet are offering 6 places for each-way bets on this race.
|Top Tug (ew)||2.40 Kempton||14/1||Sky Bet|
|Keep In Line (ew)||2.40 Kempton||22/1||Bet365|
|Divine Spear (ew)||2.40 Kempton||9/1||Bet365|