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I ENDED the Cheltenham festival with a bang yesterday with Early Doors hosing up in the last race. Racing has a funny way of pulling you back in just when you think you are sickened by it and that has gotten me in the mood for today’s racing at Uttoxeter and Kempton.
I have three selections across the two tracks and all three of these races are free-to-air on ITV4.
My selection in this one is the lightly-raced MAGOO for the Paul Nicholls yard. He is a beautiful light grey horse who has won on heavy ground previously over hurdles and can do so again.
I think he will benefit from a patient ride by Bryony Frost having gone for home a bit early last time.
I think this can go to EL TERREMOTO who looks a classy horse with a bit of potential improvement in him. I can’t have the favourite here who has flattered to deceive in the past and is way too short.
The second favourite is a classy sort too but I’m not sure he will enjoy today’s ground.
The Midlands National is usually a very enjoyable staying chance and this year looks to be as good as ever.
The presence of the very classy (but inconsistent and fragile) American on top weight puts a few of these in on attractive light handicap weights for the 4 mile slog on heavy ground.
There are two horses that I am very keen on and I think I will plump for Bryony Frost on MILANSBAR. This sort of test is ideal for the horse and he is now a bit lower in the handicap than some of his better form last season including a remote 5th place in the Grand National at Aintree.
He was second in this race off a higher handicap mark and I think he can go one better this year with the lower weight giving him a distinct advantage.
My alternative selection is Back to the Thatch for Henry Daly and champion jockey Richard Johnson. He gets to race off a nice low weight which will be helpful and although he has gone up in the weights that is as a result of a very good run at Haydock over Christmas in similar conditions to today.
If I had to pick one I would go with Milansbar but I wouldn’t put you off if you wanted to back both.