AFTER the Cheltenham betting frenzy, the reality check kicks in this weekend but the Betfred Midlands National poses another puzzle for punters over an extreme distance of 4m 1f. The Uttoxeter track won’t be riding as testing as some previous years and that will suit CLASH DUFF (3.20). Jeremy Scott’s improving seven-year-old appears to have solid credentials, having scored over 3m 6f at Exeter just 11 days ago, despite idling in front.
There is an interesting card at Kempton and CAPTAIN SUNSHINE (2.50) looks a standout bet in the 32Red.com novices’ hurdle. Emma Lavelle’s gelding was runner-up at a respectable distance to the useful Balder Succes at Ascot last month and the step up in trip should suit.
The 32Red handicap hurdle is a much more competitive affair but BIG EASY (3.25) has really got his act together in the past few weeks, probably on the back of his slicker hurdling technique. Philip Hobbs had him entered up at Cheltenham but comes here instead after an eyecatching win at Bangor.
At Ffos Las, course winner MAKETHE MOSTOFNOW (4.05) can follow up for Welsh handler Evan Williams. The Milan gelding beat AP McCoy-ridden favourite Beheir in mid-February and the form received a major boost when third horse Kilmacowen, who was 12 lengths adrift, thumped Shakalakaboomboom at Warwick last week.
Jonjo O’Neill, fresh from saddling winners at Cheltenham, runs JP McManus’ handicap chaser MASTER MILAN (4.40) with the champion jockey on board. A consistent sort in this grade, Master Milan shaped well in third on his chase debut at Lingfield back in January and doesn’t look badly treated.
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