Uttoxeter host the Betfred Midlands Grand National at 3.35pm on Saturday, a four mile and one furlong Listed handicap chase which will be shown live on ITV Racing.
On the back of a battling win at Warwick last time out, the Jonjo O’Neill trained Catching On has to be respected carrying a low weight of 10st 3lb in a race which invariably has quite testing ground.
Warwick is a big test of jumping in its own right, made all the more tricky when the ground is heavy, but Catching On travelled smoothly throughout and showing benefit from the addition of a tongue tie. He did enough to fend off The Wallace Line and at around 12/1 he makes some each way appeal.
But Michael Scudamore may have the winner of this with a horse that is trading as the favourite at the moment and looks to have a big chance. Mysteree has won two of his last three starts, those wins surrounding a poor run at Plumpton in January where he was well backed to win but pulled up.
He showed that to be nothing like his form last time out in the Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle, one of the toughest staying tests on the racing calendar.
He went off at a relatively well fancied 10/1 chance for this competitive race but produced a rather commanding performance under Robbie Dunne, jumping with professionalism and accuracy throughout and staying on to beat two smart stayers in Knockanrawley and Shotgun Paddy.
Trainer Michael Scudamore, older brother to top jockey Tom, has his small string in good form lately too, with three winners from his last nine starts and having won some races around Uttoxeter too, there’s no reason to think Mysteree won’t produce his best here.
The nine-year-old son of Gold Well has gone up 6lb for that win last time out, which is fair and he carries a nice weight of 10st 9lb for this race. The Scottish Grand National is probably the target and to justify having a chance in that race, he’d need to go very well in this one – he should. You can benefit from this Grand National free bet and get more updates on Betfred free bet offers as we progress to the event.