The Midlands Grand National is a competitive handicap chase with a decent prize fund in its own right and not just an afterthought to the Cheltenham Festival. In Gevrey Chambertin there is a horse who can play up winnings from the jumps meeting that matters most or recoup some losses after the bookies benefit of Gold Cup day. Gevrey Chambertin is not in the same class as Sizing John but in the context of the race at Uttoxeter looks a decent betting proposition.
There is a strange anomaly to today’s marathon over more than four miles and one furlong in that the roll of honour includes two winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup but there is no former winner who has also won the original Grand National. Gevrey Chambertin is not in the same class as The Thinker or Synchronised but at this level can deliver on the day after the most prestigious chase in the sport.
Another fact associated with the Midlands Grand National is that no horse has won the race more than once and Firebird Flyer does not have the form to achieve back to back wins. The horse is running off the same handicap mark as a year ago but whereas in 2016 he was in good form this time there is nothing to suggest Firebird Flyer can deliver. Houblon Des Obeaux looks interesting off top weight on his best form but the horse has not shown that for some time.
Gevrey Chambertin is trained by David Pipe who knows a thing or two about preparing horses for the day that follows the Lord Mayor’s Show that is the festival. In fact he trained the winner four times from 2011 to 2014 including with Goulanes who won the race in 2014 carrying three pounds more than in this year’s renewal. The horse has the rating to deliver again but Gevrey Chambertin has better credentials running for Pipe today, the trainer with the best win record in the history of the race.
The selection was running a huge race in the Eider Chase at Newcastle when unseating Tom Scudamore well into the final circuit of that gruelling race. Gevrey Chambertin has a bit of class that could be key at this level and is well handicapped on the basis of previous efforts. There are so few races run over more than four miles that the horse is typical in not being proven over this extreme distance.
Gevrey Chambertin was going like a good thing in the Eider but was not tested over the last mile when stamina comes into play in races of this nature. The winner Mysteree had his day at Newcastle but has paid with that with a hike of six pounds in the weights. The stable’s record in the race and some form from the past means Gevrey Chambertin should be backed to win the Midlands version of the Grand National at Uttoxeter today.
Tip: Gevrey Chambertin to win the Midlands Grand National (Uttoxeter 3.35) at 12/1 with bet365.