Back to weekend action following a dramatic, controversial and tremendous Cheltenham Festival.
Well done to all the trainers, owners, riders and stable staff that put in a huge shift to bring us racing fans the festival of festivals. Rachael Blackmore is one special lady. Yes, she is absolutely smashing records and glass ceilings all the times.
Mark McDonagh rode a lovely race to win the Martin Pipe handicap hurdle yesterday at Cheltenham and rocks up here on Young Dev for trainer Denis Hogan. He is 4lbs wrong in the handicap but his talented jockeys 7lbs claim negates that difference. Young Dev is in great form having run well on his last four runs over hurdles. He loves a stamina test and cut in the ground so all looks set fair for a big run. Who can forget the ride Hugh Morgan gave his horse to win at Navan just over a year ago when he lost his irons not long after the start! Young Dev is lightly raced over fences and is fancied to run a big race off such a low weight.
Noel Kelly runs Hear No Evil who could be ahead of the handicapper on his eight chasing start. He missed a year following a huge run to beat Empire Steel at Ayr over three miles on heavy ground. Hear No Evil has gone on to bigger things and is rated 16lbs higher today than when beaten a neck by Hear No Evil. This race looks to have been the plan this season as he ran a great prep race in a veterans chase at Navan when run down late by My Manekineko. That run should see him fit and ready for this first run over a marathon trip. Jody McGarvey travels over for the ride and with 10-7 on his back he looks a player.
Jonjo O'Neill runs the current winner again with Time To Get Up only 4lbs higher than last year. He wears first time pieces. Truckers Lodge has dropped a few pounds in the handicap and has his chance on a course he loves. Hewick is an intersting runner for Shark Hanlon but might just of preferred better ground. A cracking race as the nationals come at us thick and fast over the next few weeks.
Uttoxeter – 3:35
0.5 point each way Young Dev 14/1 Bet365 paying 5 places.
0.5 point each way Hear No Evil 33/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both paying 6 places.
Compare Odds at https://www.oddschecker.com/horse-racing/uttoxeter/15:35/winner