Reprieve on the cards at Uttoxeter

Evan Williams has always felt Secret Reprieve had another big handicap chase in his locker and he can justify his trainer’s optimism by taking the Boulton Group Midlands Grand National Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter.

Trainer: Evan Williams
Trainer: Evan Williams Picture: (Harry Trump/Getty Images)

In 2020, he won back-to-back races for the first time when beating The Three Amigos in the Coral Welsh Grand National Trial before then getting the better of Nicky Martin's runner in the full version at Chepstow's big Christmas meeting.

Connections decided to give him the whole year off before the 2021 Welsh National, but that plan did not work out, as he finished some 44 lengths behind Iwilldoit.

The William Rucker-owned nine-year-old has not won since but the lightly-raced gelding has shown much more spark in his two most recent outings, finishing a good runner-up to Farinet at Chepstow in early December and latterly when a staying-on third to Rapper at Cheltenham on New Year's Day.

The four and a quarter miles is a step into the unknown, but he has always been regarded as a Grand National horse and the likely soft ground should not unduly concern him.

Hitching Jacking can complete a hat-trick for Dan Skelton in the Your Dream Holiday With Optimum Experience Handicap Hurdle.

The lightly-raced six-year-old was touched off on his hurdling debut yet opened his account over course and distance in December and followed up at Wetherby in January.

He knuckled down well, showing a willing attitude and while he has been raised 6lb, he looks progressive.

In-form Skelton also has a leading chance with Our Jet in the Extra Furlong With Trinity Create Novices' Handicap Chase.

After scoring at Leicester over Christmas, fingers were burned at Wetherby next time when beaten by Gemirande, who franked that form when running a cracker in the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury.

He has given the impression that he would relish further and being upped to three miles for the first time should produce plenty of improvement.

Cap Du Mathan can oblige for Paul Nicholls in the Virgin Bet Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Kempton.

The eight-year-old has done little wrong this term and ran a fair race in defeat when bidding for a hat-trick at Wincanton 17 days ago.

Though he carries top weight, there still looks to be plenty of room for improvement and a slight drop back in trip to two and a quarter miles looks a shrewd move.

Outlaw Peter was quite well supported for the Lanzarote Hurdle at the same venue in January, only to be pulled up when his chance had gone.

He was much better when scoring readily at Wincanton last time in a weaker race and while the Virgin Bet Handicap Hurdle is a hugely competitive affair, Harry Cobden's mount may well follow up.

Mister Fisher has lost his way a bit since winning the Grade Two Silviniaco Conti Chase here 14 months ago.

Nicky Henderson's nine-year-old has undergone wind surgery since being pulled up in the Desert Orchid Chase over Christmas and returns to the Sunbury track with a few questions to answer.

It would not be a great shock to see him bounce back in the much easier Virgin Bet Fives Handicap if his recent wind operation has done the trick.

Rose Of Arcadia can successfully shoulder top weight in the BetGoodwin Our Best Odds Guaranteed Mares' Handicap Chase at Fontwell.

She bolted up over course and distance in a novice chase December and while well held in a Listed race at Exeter, Joe Tizzard puts her back into much calmer waters again.

Kansas Du Berlais is fancied to land the Phone Goodwin Racing 08000 421321 Maiden Hurdle for Gary Moore.

Olly Harris has not had too much luck with the four-year-old thus far, seeing him twice beaten favourite on his last two runs.

He caught the eye when staying on strongly to finishing runner-up at Lingfield, yet ran no sort of race when odds-on at Fontwell just 12 days later. He is better than that and may well earn compensation this time.

Ballybeen has always looked like he would be better once he saw a fence and he was a little unlucky on his chasing debut at Hereford in defeat, where he jumped left on occasions.

This track should suit Sam Thomas' runner and he may be able to get off the mark in the BetGoodwin Handicap Chase.

At Newcastle, Sleeping Satellite can follow up his Carlisle victory with another for Donald McCain in the Guinness Draft Novices' Hurdle, while the progressive War Soldier, who was out of his depth in Grade Two company last time, can strike again for Sandy Thomson in the Guinness Cold Brew Coffee Handicap Hurdle.


FONTWELL: 1.25 Kotmask, 2.00 Kansas Du Berlais, 2.35 Ballybeen, 3.12 Heure De Glorie, 3.45 Realm Of Glory, 4.20 ROSE OF ARCADIA (NAP), 4.55 Prince Des Fichaux.

KEMPTON: 1.30 Cap Du Mathan, 2.05 Outlaw Peter, 2.40 Mister Fisher, 3.17 Vicki Vale, 3.50 Southern Sam, 4.25 Issuing Authority, 5.00 Jackpot D'Athou.

NEWCASTLE: 1.40 Sleeping Satellite, 2.15 Here We Have It, 2.50 War Soldier, 3.25 Burrows Diamond, 4.00 Ballynagran, 4.35 Eloi Du Puy, 5.07 March Wind.

THURLES: 1.55 Happy D'ex, 2.30 Indiana Jones, 3.05 Cahirdown Boy, 3.40 Quirke's Gate, 4.15 Lifetime Ambition, 4.50 Ballyglass Beauty, 5.20 Fourtowns.

UTTOXETER: 1.15 Can You Call, 1.50 Hitching Jacking, 2.25 Sam Brown, 3.00 Secret Reprieve, 3.35 Our Jet, 4.10 Marco Island, 4.45 Dime Store Cowgirl, 5.15 Helnwein.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.30 Mirabello Bay, 6.00 Miss Elsa, 6.30 Dubai Dawn, 7.00 Zealot, 7.30 Jacks Profit, 8.00 Tylos, 8.30 Plumette.

DOUBLE: Rose Of Arcadia and Sleeping Satellite.

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