ITV Racing Tips: Artful Cobbler a shoe-in for the Midlands National?

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The Cheltenham Festival may be at an end, but there’s still plenty of high-stakes racing to look forward to on Saturday from Uttoxeter and Kempton.

In a packed seven-race card, it’s the Midlands Grand National that stands out as the feature race of the day.

Stars including Get On The Yager, Back To The Thatch and The Artful Cobbler will be looking to emulate great names of the past including Synchronised and The Thinker by landing this prize.

We’ve got a pick for that race – and the other six – in this Saturday’s ITV Racing Tips

NAP – Big River – 2:25 Uttoxeter

There’s not a lot of impressive form to go off in this six-runner Class 2 contest. But it’s Big River that looks the best of the bunch after landing the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase at Kelso last time out.

Lucinda Russell’s eight-year-old runs well on difficult ground and looks to have the stamina to be able to handle the 3m trip. Main opponent Behind Time is winless since going chasing, while Looksnowtlikebrian will step up in trip here after winning a three-runner contest at Ayr last month.

Big River is an improving type and should have the quality to bag this contest ahead of her less impressive rivals.

NB – Cobra De Mai – 3:15 Uttoxeter

The Dan Skelton-Bridget Andrews combination chucked up a winner at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday and can do so again here.

Cobra De Mai secured a 2l success over Drumlee Sunset in a competitive Class 2 at Warwick last time out and should be able to do so again in the Silver Bowl Handicap Chase.

He’s gone up just 2lb in the ratings following that win and should be able to manage a second win in three attempts over the distance at Uttoxeter. Andrews claiming 3lb also helps their cause.

Lively Longshot – The Artful Cobbler – 3:35 Uttoxeter

Big outsiders rarely land the Midlands National. So it should pay to stick near the top of the market in this one. With that in mind, The Artful Cobbler is our selection for trainer Henry Daly.

The seven-year-old lapped up the heavy ground at Lingfield last time out to secure a hat-trick after well-deserved wins at Ludlow and Warwick. He’s been stepped up in distance each time, and with stamina key at Uttoxeter, he makes plenty of appeal over the 4m 2f slog.

He’ll need to improve to land this Listed prize. But on previous showings, he looks well-capable of laying down a significant challenge. He’s a fair price, but not exorbitant, and should be able to justify that on each-way terms at the very least.

ITV Racing Tips:

1:50 Uttoxeter – Sahara Haze

2:05 Kempton – Kafy Blanco

2:25 Uttoxeter – Big River (NAP)

2:40 Kempton – Azzerti

3:00 Uttoxeter – Thelingy

3:15 Kempton – Cobra De Mai (NB)

3:35 Uttoxeter – The Artful Cobbler (Lively Longshot)

Click here for the latest Horse Racing odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the University of East Anglia where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper Concrete. He also supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Other passions include darts, cricket and horse racing.