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IT IS a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Ball, but the racing this afternoon is still very interesting, with the big one being the Betfred Midlands National over a stamina-sapping four miles at Uttoxeter.
Several grizzled old-timers have run in this contest in the past with Milansbar having finished second in the 2016 edition, but I really fancy a huge run from the 14/1 shot Hainan (nap) who has proved that extreme distances are right up his street this season.
Some will say that he didn’t really get home over the four miles of the Eider Chase at Newcastle, but I think he was beaten by a really good horse that day and maybe could have gone for home further out.
He has been fairly lightly raced this season and his handler has given him a nice break since Newcastle which should serve him well when the majority of his rivals will have been on the go for some time.
I wouldn’t put you off the claims of the likes of Back to the Thatch, who fell in that Eider when going well just past halfway, while the likes of old Alfie Spinner and the in-form lightweight The Artful Cobbler are worth a second glance as well.
Also on the Uttoxeter card the hugely progressive top weight Big River is not to be missed in the big three mile chase series final.
The Lucinda Russell-trained charge looks a Grand National horse of the future and despite having to carry a hefty weight burden of 11-12lbs this strapping young horse looks up to it and can give the pounds away to the likes of Another Venture and Behind Time.
Also on the card have another look at the likes of Theligny (nb) in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle at 3.00 and Wings of Smoke later on at 4.45.
At Kempton Park there is some really competitive racing and none more so than the class two handicap hurdle at 2.40.
I really like the look of the top weight Zubayr who is steadily coming down the weights and I also like the booking of crack amateur Lorcan Williams who will take a very valuable seven pounds off his back.
The danger could be the Gary Moore-trained Gaarsten who remains open to plenty of improvement.
Over at Wolverhampton in the evening, Abe Lincoln is in cracking form for the Jeremy Noseda camp and he looks set to complete the hat-trick in the opener at 5.45, but there are better value bets to be had later on including Caracas in the 3.45, while Rose Berry looks nicely in for the 7.45 and the bonus is that young promising jockey Lewis Edmunds is on board as well.
Finally, elsewhere, Mr Muddle is still lightly raced for an 11-year-old and I think that trainer Gary Moore has found the perfect opening for him in the 2.15.
Later on at the Sussex track I wouldn’t put any of you off old boy Itoldyou who has to give 2lbs away to Matrow’s Lady in the staying handicap chase at 4.00.
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