Dan Overall Eye-catchers: Grand National contender catches the eye at Newbury

Kildisart is set for a crack at the Grand National in April
Kildisart is set for a crack at the Grand National in April

Cheltenham Festival week is nearly upon us and, unsurprisingly, the eyes of the racing world have been rather preoccupied of late. Still, I have flagged three that ran with plenty of credit over the past seven days, including a live Aintree contender.

Of the previous eyecatchers, Dalamoi runs in the 4:40 Sandown on Tuesday 8th March; his opening mark of 119 looks lenient given how the form of his previous run has worked out, so keep him in mind.

Thursday 3rd March – 16:05 Musselburgh – Blooriedotcom (3rd)

Having missed the majority of last season, Blooriedotcom has shaped with plenty of promise on his last couple of starts.

While it often pays to be ridden prominently at Musselburgh, in this case it proved a hindrance as Blooriedotcom helped to force a very strong pace. As his pace-setting rivals began to drop back through the field, Blooriedotcom continued to head the field, jumping the last with a narrow lead before eventually being passed by Rae Des Champs and Saryhagann, both of whom were ridden with more patience.

Still, there was a lot to like about this run and it indicated that a return to the winner’s enclosure isn’t far away. He’s four-pounds below his last winning mark and considering both of his wins over hurdles have come at Musselburgh, I suspect connections will be plotting a return to the track in the next few weeks.

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Cheltenham Tips

Friday 4th March – 13:45 Newbury – Stringtoyourbow (2nd)

Making his handicap debut after showing a modicum of promise in novice hurdles, Stringtoyourbow was surprisingly easy to back, eventually going off at 33/1.

Despite the notable lack of market support, he travelled supremely well through the race from off the pace, carving his way through the field to lay down a strong challenge on the run to the second last. He and Shearer, who looked a winner in waiting over hurdles from a lenient mark, pulled nicely clear of the remainder, with Shearer eventually prevailing in a sustained battle.

By Getaway, there is an abundance of stamina on the dam’s side and his long-term future would seemingly be as a staying chaser. However, he looks capable of landing a handicap over hurdles in the meantime and with his revised mark likely to be around 100, he should find easier opportunities than this.

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Saturday 5th March – 13:50 Newbury – Kildisart (4th)

Returning from a 15-month absence, Kildisart was described as “big” prior to the race and the market confirmed that he was likely to need this run.

Given the above, plus the fact that the two-and-a-half mile on the trip is definitely on the short side for him, Kildisart ran a very promising race to finish fourth, staying on well at the finish.

The Grand National has been this horse’s main target since 2020; but the pandemic, followed by a season out with an injury, meant he has had to wait until 2022 to finally run in the race. Currently number 45 on the list, he is seemingly guaranteed a run in the race this year and I’m sure connections will have been delighted with his comeback run. He is on his last winning mark of 148, which came at Aintree in April 2019, albeit that came over conventional fences.

Grand National Odds
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