Saturday Racing Tips: Milansbar has stamina to succeed at Uttoxeter
After a profitable week at the Cheltenham Festival, Tony Calvin returns with this best bets from the card at Uttoxeter on Saturday...
"I think everything is in place for Theo's Charm to return to winning ways in the 15:00 and he rates a bet at [15.0] or bigger."
I was going to say no prizes for originality for me in tipping Milansbar in the Midlands Grand National at 15:35, but I was very surprised to see the horse trading at more than 16/1+ on the exchange on Friday morning.
His price has shortened a bit through the day - he was actually 20/1 in a place at the start of Friday - but he still rates a good bet at 12/1 or bigger.
Rain should play to Milansbar's strengths
I haven't heard too much about his jockey Bryony Frost, but hopefully she can ride a bit.
Milansbar loves a test of stamina and sapping conditions, and the current soft ground could even turn heavy if the weather forecast for Uttoxeter proves correct, as the site I use has more than 10mm of rain falling throughout Saturday.
That will be music to the ears of his connections, as all his best form is when the mud is flying and he finished second to Regal Flow in this race last year on heavy off a 5lb higher mark than this, before going on to finish fifth in the Grand National.
The handicapper has been on the generous side by dropping him 6lb since Aintree, particularly as he shaped as if a return to winning form was imminent when fourth on good to soft ground over 3m2f at Newbury last time.
Crucially, he wasn't wearing his usual blinkers there to concentrate his mind and stop him racing lazily - he initially wore them when winning the Classic Chase at Warwick last season under the mysterious Frost, who's back on back on board for the first time since the National - and it is no surprise to see them back on here.
Aside from his second here last season, he also has two course wins to his name and to hammer home his suitability to the track and the stamina test, and the ground, he also finished runner-up in this contest in 2016.
The final piece in the jigsaw is that Neil King has banged in a couple of winners (both ridden by this Frost character) recently, so the stable form is hopefully not a concern.
The more you look at the race, the more you suspect that Milansbar will start in single figures and go very close.
The two I fear most, predictably enough, are Ms Parfois and Folsom Blue, but there is one play in the race at the current prices.
Back Milansbar at [14.0] or bigger.
Theo's Charm can return to winning ways
As it's the end of another long Cheltenham Festival, I will spare you the War And Peace columns I have inflicted upon you during the week and concentrate on the races that I have a fancy in.
Staying at Uttoxeter, Solstice Star and Dr Des would be my token selections in the first two races on ITV - actually Dr Des should go well - but I think everything is in place for Theo's Charm to return to winning ways in the 15:00 and he rates a bet at [15.0] or bigger.
He returned to form when a good third to Ballyandy over course and distance last time, when connections dispensed with the usual cheek pieces and tried him in a first-time tongue-tie.
It appeared to do the trick and he looks a well-handicapped horse if he can back up that run, with the excellent Jonjo O'Neill Jr taking off an extra 5lb.
The selection was rated 8lb higher when running creditably in midfield in the Pertemps this time last year, and he won't mind it one bit if that forecast rain materialises. Some of his better efforts have come on heavy, and 2m4f is his optimum trip.
The fields have really cut up at Kempton and nothing catches my eye for a bet, though the handicapper looks to have been very kind in dropping Onefortheroadtom 4lb from his run behind Kildisart at Cheltenham last time and could prove popular in the 2m4f handicap chase. He has now been dropped 15lb in just four starts, so the assessor has played more than fair.
Good luck on Saturday, and I hope the week has been kind to you.
Theo's Charm at [15.0] or bigger in 15:00 at Uttoxeter
Milansbar at [14.0] or bigger in 15:35 at Uttoxeter