Cheltenham is over for another year – but what a week! Paddy’s shivering in the corner of a darkened room somewhere but we’ll show no mercy for Saturday’s racing. You hear me Paddy?
Let’s start at Uttoxeter with the novices’ handicap chase over 3m and with rain that has fallen stamina will be at a premium.
This kind of event is right up the street of ALGERNON PAZHAM (2.40pm) who loves soft ground and stays all day. Nigel Twiston-Davies didn’t have much luck at Cheltenham. So hopefully he’ll get some here. This horse might not have the class of some – but has a willing attitude.
From the jumps we go to Lingfield for the Winter Derby over 1m 2f. CLOUDSCAPE (3.05pm) is lightly raced but ran huge on his polytrack debut last time behind Grendisar. He’s up against improoving horses here like Tryster, but he might well slip into the frame at a big price. Back him eachway.
BEG TO DIFFER (3.15pm) is up in trip and up in the handicap for AP McCoy at Uttoxter over an extended 2m 4f. But he impressed in wins at Wetherby and Carlisle and can get the hat-trick up to the roar of the big crowd.
The Silver Bowl Chase at Kempton looks tough.
BUCK MAGIC (3.30pm) is not one to rely on – but he has Barry Geraghty up, stays strong and is very well handicapped on his best form. If he runs to his best he has every chance and decent odds.
Finally, the big betting race of the day is the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter over 4m 1f.
I’ve been waiting for GOONYELLA (3.50pm) to win another big one for some time, and it’s fair to say he’s had plenty of opportunities to land an event like this.
However, he stays really well, loves the conditions and is a solid jumper. That’s a start in this marathon contest. So good luck everyone. Hope you’ve followed the winners at Cheltenham and this column will never forget Faugheen. Yeeehaaa!