4m2f Boulton Group Midlands Grand National Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)
Another gruelling edition of the Midlands National is in store for us to cure our post-Cheltenham hangover and I think this can go the way of a previous Welsh National winner. This season’s winner, The Two Amigos has only been raised 5lbs for his success three months ago and can continue to be competitive off that minor rise in the weights.
But I have to get on IWILLDOIT, who I would have been quite sweet on for the Grand National at Aintree if he had qualified. Unfortunately, Iwilldoit didn’t get in, as he has only had 5 chase starts, winning four of them to-date. That marathon trip may be on the cards for next year, but this season he has already claimed a highly impressive success in the Warwick Classic Chase.
He wasn’t fancied for that race off nearly a year’s break, but what a testament to Sam Thomas who trained him brilliantly for his comeback run and Iwilldoit was a worthy winner with the form sicne being franked by Mr Incredible who finished third in the Kim Muir.
Iwilldoit has been raised 8lbs for his Warwick run and now sits on a mark of 155. That means he will need to lug 12st around, and whilst he will need to be some horse to do that, I’m convinced he’s a chaser that should be rated in the 160’s. 6/1 is a decent price for a horse who still remains unexposed at the age of 10.
The other former Welsh National winner who looks to have finally got his conditions again is SECRET REPRIEVE. Trained by Evan Williams, there was a great deal expected of Secret Reprieve when he hosed up in the 2020 edition of the Chepstow marathon, but a combination of injuries and underhwelming performances have meant he has yet to live up to those expectations. Whilst his two runs this season have seen him finish 8 lengths and 10 lengths respectively behind winners, he showed his strong staying potential in both contests including at Cheltenham last time out.
Both of those races were on ground quicker than ideal and at trips shorter than his optimum. The return to a four-mile plus contest on bottomless ground should be just what he needs and he now sits on a mark 2lbs lower than his Welsh National success which means he looks well treated for a race that has probably been targeted by connections.
1pt win Iwilldoit @6/1, 15:00 Uttoxeter, Saturday
1pt win Secret Reprieve @17/2, 15:00 Uttoxeter, Saturday