OSTUNI can make up for unseating Bryony Frost at the first flight last week. Before that little mishap he had been in good form with a couple of wins at Fontwell and a Wincanton second. This trip brings out the best in him and he should be right there.
Tambura was impressive when winning by 11 lengths at Plumpton five days ago. She just went from the front there and didn’t have to hit top gear. This quick return under a 7lb penalty looks a very wise move.
Solstice Star likes it heavy and is coming right down the weights to what now looks a dangerous mark. He’s not the most consistent type but stays well and can do better than his sixth from this race 12 months ago.
Same Circus is down to just 2lb higher than when winning a decent contest at Aintree in October. She didn’t enjoy herself over fences at Catterick last time and should be happier in this company. Staying is no problem and she has form in testing conditions.
J: Bryony Frost
T: P F Nicholls
Uttoxeter – Mar 14th 15:50
MUSICAL SLAVE was a good hurdler and he’s made a decent start to his chasing career. He needed his couple of runs before Christmas then won nicely at Exeter in testing ground. His effort at Haydock last time was decent enough and he looks the type to improve for this step up in distance with Barry Geraghty taking over in the saddle.
Midnight Tune has a couple of wins at this testing track and saw out this trip really nicely when winning at Warwick last month. She goes up in class here but is still on a handy mark and should give a good account.
Cloudy Glen was fancied for the Masters Chase at Warwick last time before falling in the early stages. He earlier went close in good company at Sandown and Venetia Williams’ horses usually go well on soft. He’s as nutty as a box of frogs and has run out before but there’s talent there too.
Clondaw Anchor went through the mud to score at Lingfield before a late mistake proved costly when finishing second at Chepstow. He’s had a little break since then and has plenty of staying power, which will come in handy today.
|5. Musical Slave|
J: B J Geraghty
T: P J Hobbs
Uttoxeter – Mar 14th 16:25
MAIN FACT is in the form of his life and zoomed away from his rivals to make it four wins on the spin at Wetherby last time. The handicapper has shoved him up 9lb for that making him two stone higher in the weights than the first success in that sequence. But he loves it here, handles heavy ground well and can strike again.
Nordano looks a threat after a bloodless success in the mud at Ascot last month. He goes up in trip a little which looks a wise move because he has plenty of staying power. The handicapper has clobbered him too but he’s only four so there should be more to come.
Dostal Phil will be popular for the JP McManus/Barry Geraghty dream team. He has his sights raised here after a bloodless win at Fontwell but he is more to offer and should handle the longer trip.
Any Drama was running in Grade 1s but training problems put the brakes on his career. He has looked more like his old self this season with two good wins over course and distance in heavy ground. He is a hotter race but he could have more to come.
|10. Main Fact|
J: Mr Fergus Gillard
T: D Pipe
Uttoxeter – Mar 14th 17:00
CAPTAIN DRAKE can take a typically tough Midlands Grand National. He is exactly what you want in a race like this being a dour stayer who will relish these conditions. It’s a slight worry that he unseated at Ascot last time but he didn’t make a lot of mistakes and was travelling nicely in that good race. Before that he struck with plenty to spare at Exeter and his capable rider takes a useful 5lb off.
Se Mo Laoch had a full tank left when scoring over three miles at Navan last month and this slog should be right up his street. He has just 10 stone on his back which will be helpful in the conditions.
Truckers Lodge was a cracking second in the Welsh Grand National and has scope to improve in these marathon contests.
De Rasher Counter is at the other end of the weights and his defeat of The Conditional in the Ladbrokes Trophy is the best form on offer. He jumped poorly at Cheltenham but is better than that and won on this card 12 months ago. Another good run is expected but he’s giving so much weight away.
Joe Farrell was seventh in the Newbury highlight but won the Scottish National so will be staying on. He’s still 7lb above his Ayr heyday but likes the ground.
|5. Captain Drake|
J: Mr B Carver
T: H Fry
Uttoxeter – Mar 14th 17:35
SEVARANO looks a big price as he steps up to what should be an ideal distance. He won nicely at Newbury before returning to finish a solid fourth in much hotter company. He tuned up for this with a good second at Doncaster where he was boxing on really well at the finish. He can hit the frame with the first-time visor likely to help too.
Keen On won a couple of little races for Nicky Henderson before coming up short in Grade 2 company. He goes handicapping now from what could be a fair mark despite shouldering top weight today. It’s early days so he should be capable of better.
Eden Du Houx ran well enough in third at Ascot and looked the type to relish this longer distance. He was a top bumper performer and has more to come.
Hurricane Harvey has done well with wins at Ludlow and Wincanton. He is proven over the trip and comes here nice and fresh.
J: J J Burke
T: O Sherwood
Kempton – Mar 14th 16:05
DOWNTOWN GETAWAY showed his liking for a big field when winning over this course and distance three Saturdays ago. That was all the better because he fought back after being headed for a really gutsy win. A 5lb rise in the weights for that gives him every chance of following up for Nicky Henderson.
Cervaro Mix got an easy lead when winning a nice race at Huntingdon last time but he made the most of it and had plenty in hand crossing the line. It won’t be easy to pull off the same tactics but he can’t be ignored.
Tamaroc Du Mathan was a good fifth in the red-hot Betfair Hurdle at Newbury when sent off at 50-1. That was a big personal best and this is just his third run for Paul Nicholls so there should be more to come.
Ballyhome put a couple of poor chase efforts firmly behind him to win over timber at Market Rasen last month. He was never out of second gear and can handle a 6lb rise in the weights.
Bullionaire has few miles on the clock and had no answer to the useful Sir Psycho at Exeter on the back of an easy Uttoxeter success. He would possibly like it a bit softer but is potentially a big improver.
|2. Downtown Getaway|
J: Nico de Boinville
T: N J Henderson
Kempton – Mar 14th 16:40
LEGAL EYES got the job done in great style when winning by 11 lengths here last time out. He tanked along there and left his rivals behind a long way from home. The drop in distance here holds no fears as he won over a similar one at Plumpton to kick off this season. He looks the type to improve again.
Drumconnor Lad won well at Ayr just seven days ago and runs off the same mark today. The ground was testing in Scotland but he won well at Leopardstown the time before and should go close again.
Garde La Victoire is coming nicely down the weights and was a solid fourth behind Cepage at Cheltenham last time out in January. This flatter track should help him get home and he has a touch of quality about him.
Pistol Whipped drops in grade after a fair fifth in the Pendil here last month. He can make errors but it’s very early days over fences so he can improve on that. There’s more to come from him.
Almazhar Garde has two wins and a fall from his past three runs. He made errors when scoring at Ludlow latest and that could be an issue again.
|7. Legal Eyes|
J: David Bass
T: B Pauling
Kempton – Mar 14th 17:15
1.00 Manvers House
1.30 Return Ticket (treble)
2.40 Downtown Getaway
3.15 Legal Eyes
3.50 Flic On Voyou
4.25 Hurricane Arcadio
1.40 Hit The Rocks
2.15 Misty Whisky
3.25 Made For You
4.35 On The Road
5.10 The Raven’s Return
1.50 Ostuni (nb)
2.25 Musical Slave
3.00 Main Fact
3.35 CAPTAIN DRAKE (NAP)
4.45 Glance Back
5.20 Be Thankful
5.50 Red Rookie
2.00 Stainsby Girl
2.35 Definite Wisdom
3.10 Siannes Star
4.20 Bollin Ace
5.30 Tupelo Mississippi
5.25 Perfect Soldier
7.00 Rangali Island
7.30 Starlight Romance
8.30 Never Dark