The brilliant National winner Tiger Roll was bought to win the Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival by leading owner Michael O’Leary following his win on hurdles debut at Market Rasen back in November 2013.
The Tiger has subsequently won four races at the Festival and on Saturday justified 4/1 favouritism to become the first horse since Red Rum in 1974 to win back-to-back Grand Nationals – and he did so with the minimum of fuss. His owner suggested on Sunday he was highly unlikely to try and win the great race three times on the spin next year although he will be aimed at Cheltenham 2020 and a fifth Festival success and a third in the X-County event.
Aintree was a wonderful three-day meeting with Lostintranslation’s Grade 1 Novice Chase success my personal highlight. Colin Tizzard’s novice is 14/1 for the King George with BetVictor on Boxing Day and 20/1 for next season’s Gold Cup.
The first meeting of the year from Windsor is today’s flat highlight and the ground is described as good although there were showers forecast on Sunday ahead of today’s card.
Dorchester Dom (2.50) finished fourth in the Brocklesby on debut and is well drawn to break his duck at the second attempt for David Evans in stall three. There are a number of well-bred newcomers in opposition, but Adam Kirby takes over in the saddle on the selection who can make his Doncaster experience count.
Global Falcon (3.20) shaped with considerable promise when fourth at Kempton over a mile and Gerald Mosse takes over this afternoon in the Novice event. The step up to 10f is not guaranteed to bring about improvement on breeding but the selection has the plum draw in stall one and he looked a sure-fire future winner at Kempton.
In the finale Lethal Missile (5.20) makes his handicap debut for Clive Cox having finished second at Kempton over 7f on his third start. He cannot afford to be slowly away from his draw in stall one, but Adam Kirby is back in the saddle and I feel he can reward each way support stepping up to a mile.
At Kelso Ueueteol (3.10) has been running well in defeat for James Ewart and can defy top-weight in the handicap chase. The selection is now 11 years-of-age, but talented conditional Steven Fox takes off a valuable 5lbs and his consistency can be rewarded.
Another Venture is better going right-handed and I hope to see another top-weight Midnight Shot (3.40) run a big race for Charlie Longsdon with Jordan Nailor taking off a valuable 7lbs. The selection is only 3lbs higher than when scoring at Fakenham earlier in the season and he will have the race run to suit with Valadom likely to make it a true test.
Royal Reserve (5.10) ran well in a better race than today’s over the minimum trip here last month and I feel he will appreciate the step up in trip this afternoon for Lucinda Russell whose previous National winner One For Arthur ran such a good race in defeat at Aintree on Saturday.
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