Talking Horses: latest racing news and the day’s best bets

The best bets for the Midlands Grand National, as punters seek to recover from the Cheltenham Festival

Today's TV races

David Pipe has a tremendous record in the Midlands Grand National, the best of today's TV races that will help us recover from Cheltenham, and he may achieve a fourth consecutive success with Goulanes (3.50) at Uttoxeter. He faces 16 rivals in an unusually competitive renewal, though victory here should be a straightforward matter for a stable that achieved three successes at the Festival, two of them in Grade Ones.

Goulanes wears a tongue tie for the first time, following flops in two staying handicaps at the end of last year. That, combined with a handicap mark that has dropped 8lb since November, may enable him to put up a better showing.

At his peak Goulanes is a tough and talented chaser who won a Grade Two on his fences debut. He was beaten by only 10 lengths by Lord Windermere at last year's Festival, form that looks better now than it did at the start of the week.

Harry Topper is a fascinating contender on his handicap debut. He might have had an each-way shout in a soft-ground Gold Cup, so he has to be of interest in this company, but he is giving 19lb or more to everything and it is hard to believe that a horse with some confidence issues will enjoy fighting for room in such a crowd.

2.05 Uttoxeter

Pure Style is back with Charlie Longsdon after an unsuccessful spell with Charlie Byrnes. His hurdle flops have been on ground much softer than this and he has shown enough ability to suggest he can take a contest of this nature.

2.20 Kempton

Arkaim's only defeat in his last four completed starts was to Massena, who was in the middle of a winning run at the time. Unlike most of these he is perfectly comfortable on drier ground and can keep his run going.

2.40 Uttoxeter

Dare To Endeavour is unbeaten in handicaps and probably has something more to give with another 6lb on his back. This is competitive, however, and Lamb Or Cod in particular looks capable of getting involved off his mark.

2.55 Kempton

Aside from David Pipe, Jonjo O'Neill was the other British-based trainer to have a fine Cheltenham and his Another Hero is interesting here. A half-brother to the Supreme winner Back In Front, he has been given the winter off, presumably to wait for better ground, and can build on the second place he achieved last autumn in his sole handicap start to date.

3.15 Uttoxeter

Full Shift did not advertise the form at Cheltenham on Friday but it was still a fine effort by Songsith to be second to that one on his first run for two years. He has been raised 6lb but, on his old form, still ought to be fairly treated and appears to be as good as ever.

3.30 Kempton

Top Of The Range has done nothing much in novice chases but better can be expected now that he goes handicapping. This was also true of his hurdles career, in which sphere he has already won off this mark.

Click here for all the day's racecards, form, stats and results.

And post your tips or racing-related comments below. © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

About the Author

Comments are closed.