Marston’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand National Odds and Preview – Horse Racing Betting March 16

Will Arthur's Gift be a present for punters?

Horse Racing Betting

Cheltenham may be over for another year but we are quickly into the ‘Grand National’ season for NH enthusiasts, starting with the Marston’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter. A traditionally-attritional handicap chase in which only the strongest stayers thrive.

Midlands Grand National History and Trends

The Midlands Grand National celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and to mark the half-century, prize money of £280,000 will be on offer across Saturday’s racecard – £150,000 of which is up for grabs in the feature race contested over a gruelling 4m2f.

No horse has ever won the race twice but there have been some famous winners including Rag Trade in 1975 –  a year later he thwarted Red Rum in the Grand National by winning at Aintree. In 1986 The Thinker stormed to victory and a year later joined chasing’s elite by winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Synchronised won in 2010 for AP McCoy and trainer Jonjo O’Neill and went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup two years later.

Once again, the horse showed success in the Midlands Grand National is a stamp of class as it went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup two years later.

Midlands Grand National Recent Winners

  • 2002 The Bunny Boiler 8 10-00 Norman Williamson Noel Meade
    2003 Intelligent 7 10-10 Robbie Power Jessica Harrington
    Abandoned
    2005 Philson Run 9 10-02 Paul Carberry Nick Williams
    2006 G V A Ireland 8 10-03 Ruby Walsh Francis Flood
    2007 Baron Windrush 9 10-09 Jason Maguire Nigel Twiston-Davies
    2008 Himalayan Trail 9 10–00 Tjade Collier Sue Smith
    2009 Russian Trigger 7 10–12 Jack Doyle Victor Dartnall
    2010 Synchronised 7 11-05 Tony McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
    2011 Minella Four Star 8 10-00 Conor O’Farrell David Pipe
    2012 Master Overseer 9 10-03 Tom Scudamore David Pipe
    2013 Big Occasion 6 09-07 Mr Mikey Ennis David Pipe
    2014 Goulanes 8 10-03 Richard Johnson David Pipe
    2015 Goonyella 8 10–12 Jonnny Burke Jim Dreaper
    2016 Firebird Flyer 9 11-05 Adam Wedge Evan Williams
    2017 Chase The Spud 9 10–12 Paddy Brennan Fergal O’Brien
    2017 Regal Flow 11 11-03 Sean Houlihan Bob Buckler

    There is barely a race on the racing calendar that asks more in terms of stamina and toughness than the Midlands Grand National. The West Midlands has seen as much wind and rain as anywhere in recent days so the forecast going is soft, heavy in places not that conditions are unusual for this traditional post-Cheltenham betting heat.

    Uttoxeter’s fences are not the easiest and the course is undulating. The Midlands Grand National is a real test of staying power, therefore, and it’s common for most of the field not to complete the 4m2f.

  • Last year’s winner Regal Flow was the first aged older than nine in the last 20 years.
  • Only two of the last 15 winners have carried more than 10st 12lb.
  • Most winners had won over at least 3m previously and between one and four times over fences.

Regal Flow bucked the trends when the successful last year but is 40/1 with Unibet to become the first to win this marathon twice. Stamina shouldn’t be an issue for either for Ms Parfois as she was just beaten in last season’s National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham but she didn’t run very well on her only start this year at Newbury so the best 7/1 looks short enough.

Dawson City (a general 12/1) has twice won the Devon National at Exeter while Chef D’Oeuvre beat Back To The Thatch over 3m4f at Haydock in December and was third in the Grand National Trial on the same course last month. He is also a best 12/1 and Potters Corner (16/1 with Unibet) still had every chance when falling in the Eider at Newcastle so could figure with a clear round.

With a big field, it may be worth splitting stakes. ARTHUR’S GIFT (a general 10/1) is upped in class and has never tackled a trip this far but he is improving and looked a real stayer in the making at Carlisle last month. BALLYDINE (a general 9/1) is a viable alternative, however, arriving off the back of a good run in the Peter Marsh at Haydock. He’d earlier just been touched off over 3m2f at Newbury and is a long-striding type who might just relish this stamina test.

Midlands Grand National Current Best Odds

Ms Parfois 7/1, American 8/1, Ballydine 9/1, Arthur’s Gift 10/1, Chef D’Oeuvre and Dawson City 12/1, Back To The Thatch, Ballymalin and Folsom Blue 14/1, Potters Corner and Get On The Yager 16/1, Milansbar 20/1, Jammin Masters, Prime Venture, Sandy Beach and Dell’ Arca 25/1, Raz De Maree, Final Nudge and Smooth Stepper 33/1, Regal Flow 40/1, Jetstream Jack 100/1

(Odds correct at 2.30pm March 14)


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