Scottish trainer Sandy Thomson has been pulling his hair out in frustration recently in an effort to get his stable star Seeyouatmidnight qualified for the Randox Health Grand National in just under three weeks time. Despite having finished third in the 2016 Scottish Grand National the son of Midnight Legend had not seen a racecourse since last March and therefore needed to run in a steeplechase soon in order to book his place for the world’s most famous steeplechase.
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Due to the recent spell of arctic weather Seeyouatmidnight’s seasonal reappearance had been delayed time after time causing Thomson to send the horse south for a 2m 4f handicap chase at Newbury with no suitable contest available nearer to home. With the trip an absolute minimum for the top weight the mount of Danny Cook did what was required in finishing a respectable third behind 9-1 chance Tiquer. A best price 33-1 with 188Bet the gelding has many of the qualities required to go close in the extended 4m 2f marathon and is likely to start a lot shorter come the day of the race.
The feature contest on the seven-race card was the Grade 2 EBF & TBA Mares’ “ National Hunt “ Novices’ Hurdle Finale which went to the Dan Skelton-trained Roksana and rider Bridget Andrews who was standing in for her boyfriend Harry Skelton who suffered a crashing fall aboard the ill-fated North Hill Harvey in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham festival.
Fresh from winning the County Hurdle on Mohaayed at Prestbury Park the 3lb claimer is enjoying a purple patch at the moment, saying: “ It’s unbelievable. Unfortunately Harry has been stood down for a bit longer, but he’s delighted as long as I’m on them. He helps me so much and rides them every day; he’s great to me.” In beating Kalahari Queen by two and three quarter lengths the mare was winning for the third time and has next season’s OLBG Mares’ Hurdle as her big long-range target.