The Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter, racing’s annual hangover cure after the excesses of Cheltenham, can fall to Prime Venture (3.35), who looks overpriced at 10-1 or thereabouts. He has yet to win over fences but it is surely only a matter of time in light of efforts like his fourth in the Welsh National.
A couple of things have gone wrong since then but there is nothing fundamentally wrong with his ability. The fitting of blinkers may help him focus and he is preferred to the Irish raider Se Mo Laoch.
1.30 Kempton A comfortable winner at this track a month ago, On The Slopes has been raised a manageable 7lb and is worth sticking with. This is a small step back in distance but he has plenty of pace.
1.50 Uttoxeter He couldn’t cope with a step up in class at Ascot but Endless Flight should be much more comfortable at this track. He won his previous start by a wide margin.
2.05 Kempton Paul Nicholls has a horse going the right way in McFabulous, who won the bumper at Aintree’s Grand National meeting last year and has been finding his feet over hurdles. He looks potentially very well treated for this first spin in a handicap.
2.25 Uttoxeter There is a race like this in Looks Like Murt when he can be guided safely around the course. Things were looking promising when he exited at Newcastle and Leicester but his confidence was hopefully boosted by a clear round over too short a trip last time.
2.40 Kempton Here is a chance for Nick Gifford to join the list of trainers to have provided J P McManus with a winner this week. His Didtheyleaveuoutto was a tired faller last month but will surely come on for that first run since November and has dropped to an attractive rating.
3.00 Uttoxeter He keeps getting fired up the weights but Main Fact keeps finding previously hidden reserves and it may pay to stick with him once more, with the longer trip seeming like a positive.
3.15 Kempton This looks a fine bit of placement from Adrian Keatley, whose Drumconnor Lad gets to race off the same mark as the one from which he won last weekend. This race is much tougher but the 10-year-old beat a big field at Leopardstown over Christmas.