So the party is over and we have to wait an agonising 362 days before being thrilled/gutted* (*delete as appropriate) by the latest Willie Mullins hotpot. We are dealing with early withdraws pangs with ridiculous ante post bets (Buveur D’Air – Champion Hurdle; Altior – Champion Chase; Penhill – Stayers; Presenting Percy – Gold Cup = 750/1 !!)
Our main post-Cheltenham medication comes in the form of the annual Uttoxeter slog that is the Midlands National.
We have had great success with our “regional” Nationals this year, although the Midlands equivalent is pretty high profile and almost up in the Welsh-Scottish-Irish-Grand league of marathons.
We like Silsol, and were gutted when he unseated at the first in an easy to win race at Haydock, but despite the presense of Bryony Frost on board, top weight in this mud looks a challenge.
The marathon Eider Chase promises to be the form guide. West Of The Edge looked a likely winner for a long way til overhauled by Baywing. He should go well here and can confirm the form with 4th home that day Hainan, who will like the ground but whose previous Uttoxeter form is none too encouraging.
That Eider Chase though is properly gruelling, and both horses will do well to recover in 3 weeks. The winner though may come from that race as the youngster Back To The Thatch was cruising early in the second circuit when falling. That spared him the final mile or more of the slog, but he was already showing that his previous good Chepstow win was a sign of more to some.
Tom O’Brien takes the ride for the in-form Henry Daly yard, and he warrants a good bet.
Recommendation: Back To The Thatch, 1535 Uttoxeter, 2pts win, 6/1 generally available