Track specialist MILANSBAR (3.35) makes big appeal in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter today.
Neil King's runner loves this venue, having won twice and finished second twice on six visits. And a real boost is that the very much in form Bryony Frost gets the leg up as she has a formidable record on the twelve year old.
They combined twice last year and to very good effect, winning the Classic Chase at Warwick and finishing fifth to Tiger Roll in the Aintree Grand National. Milansbar was second under a 7 lbs. claimer in this race last year to Regal Flow and is now 7 lbs. better off on the ratings with that opponent who was in hot form at the time but has been a little less inspiring this season.
Our selection really caught the eye when a fast finishing fourth to Carole's Destrier last time out in the Greatwood Veterans Race at Newbury over three miles and two furlongs, and the extra mile here is clearly very much in his favour. Ms Parfois ran well when sixth in the Ladbrokes Trophy on her only outing so far this season, and finished last season in fine style when second to Rathvinden in the "four miler" at Cheltenham and second to Terrefort in the Mildmay at Aintree.
By his own exalted standards it was a mixed Cheltenham Festival for Gordon Elliott, and he runs Folsom Blue here. One of quite a few hard luck stories from the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last season, he hasn't set the world alight since and would need to recover his old sparkle. Eider Chase fourth Kilkishen and former Welsh Grand National winner Raz De Maree are other Irish raiders but both are understandably starting to look a light of other days now.
Ballydine, Dawson City and Dell Arca all skipped tempting Cheltenham options to wait for this and they clearly command respect, while the youngest runner Back To The Thatch obviously has more scope for improvement than most in this contest. But Milansbar loves this circuit and can go one better than last year and round off a special week for Byrony Frost in great style.
Uttoxeter - 15:35
1/2 Point Each Way Milansbar (10/1 generally look for 5 places)
1/2 Point Each Way Chef D'Oeuvre (12/1 generally look for 5 places)
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