At least for now, racing has avoided the fate of most other sports and it’s an all action Saturday with Uttoxeter and Kempton being screened for our delectation and delight.
Undoubted feature at the Midlands track is the Marston’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand Nationalat 3.35, over a gruelling 4m2f on hock deep ground – bliss.
Just the one Irish challenger this year and probably not one of the leading lights and we like the look of Petite Power which is available at 11-2.
Fergal O’Brien‘s sprightly 11-y-o loves the heavy stuff and stays all day, as evidenced by all its four starts this season. Also gets on well with the stable amateur who has been aboard each time and PP should be staying on when others have cried: ‘enough’. An each way bet is recommended.
We also give a squeak to Just Your Type, recipient of a recent wind op and a thoroughly likeable 8-y-o slogger. Small e/w at 20-1 please.
Coverage starts with the opening race on the card, the Marston’s Brewery Lady Riders’ Handicap Hurdle at 1.50 and here we like the look of Mr Caffrey each way at 5s.
Should be well ridden by the excellent Lucy Turner, who still gets to claim 7lbs, will love the ground and justify the trainer’s decision to return to hurdling after an unsuccessful foray over fences.
The 1834 Novices’ Handicap Chase at 2.25 has an open look about it, but our trusty pin has landed on Looks Like Murt, another 5-1 poke.
This 7-y-o has recent form figures of FU2, which may be a somewhat subliminal message to its detractors, but in both the F and the U races LLM was going best only to mess up big-time. A good second last time out over a wholly inadequate trip should serve to convince the horse that it can get to the end, in which case it will probably win.
The Burton Union handicap Hurdle at 3.00 is a fierce looking 17 runner affair but we’ll put up two against the field, both at 10-1.
Remastered and Faire Part Sivola are the two animals in question and both should be backed each way.
Over at Kempton, the card is augmented by the addition of the European Breeders Fund Paddy Power “National Hunt” EBF Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (Final), carried over from the abandoned Sandown meeting of last week.
18 runners are due to go to post, headed by Mcfabulous in the care of Paul Nicholls. Always held in high regard by its esteemed trainer, this 6-y-o showed what it could do by cantering away with a good Novice hurdle at The Rasen 6 weeks ago. Makes handicap debut off a favourable 132 and can confirm the trainer’s confidence by taking this race at 2-1. Get on.
One horse which might give The Mac a run for the pot is another handicap debutanteHurricane Harvey, winner of its last two races and still improving. We suggest an each way bet on this one at 10-1.
The Paddy Power Silver Plate Handicap Hurdle at 2.40 has just the 20 runners and we think the key to this race is the one won by Downtown Getaway over this CD 3 weeks ago. Back from a wind op, Nicky Henderson‘s 7-y-o was an impressive winner beating Our Power into third.
5lbs higher today is a very reasonable adjustment and this improver should be backed at 100-30 to double up.
Our Power is also on the improve and, with a 3lb pull, should also be backed each way at 11-1.
The Paddy Power Silver Bowl Handicap Chase at 3.15 completes the TV coverage and, again, we go two against the field with each way bets on Drumconnor Lad and Sensulano.
The former runs before the assessor can react and is 5lbs well in, while the latter returns to fences off an attractive mark. 8-1 and 12-1 are the odds of reward.
Buena suerte, mes amigos.
Petite Power 3.35 Uttoxeter 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2 (4 places)
Just Your Type 3.35 Uttoxeter 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (4 places)
Mr Caffrey 1.50 Uttoxeter 1pt e/w @ 5-1
Looks Like Murt 2.25 Uttoxeter 2pts e/w @ 5-118
Remastered 3.00 Uttoxeter 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)
Faire Part Sivola 3.00 Uttoxeter 1pt e/w @ 10-1 (5 places)
McFabulous 2.05 Kempton 3pts win @ 2-1
Hurricane Harvey 2.05 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)
Downtown Getaway 2.40 Kempton 2pts win @ 100-30
Our Power 2.40 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (6 places)
Drumconnor Lad 3.15 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (6 places)
Sensulano 3.15 Kempton 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (6 places)