Racing: Dom Samourai has courage for marathon
The former National Hunt jockey Steve Smith Eccles (right) gives a runner-by runner analysis of today's Midlands Grand National Chase at Uttoxeter
Saturday 21 March 1998
Call It A Day: This dour stayer was third behind Ottowa in the Uttoxeter race dominated, prior to his error, by Kamikaze. Lacks finishing speed but may fight out the minor placings.
Another Excuse: The 1996 winner of this race who has had only one run this term. A bold jumper who stays all day but may be outpaced.
Into The Red: Failed to finish on his seasonal reappearance and the old man of the race at 14. A shadow of his former self, I feel.
Kamikaze: Looked certain to win two valuable events at this course before parting company with his rider. Kim Bailey's runner is clearly prone to lapses in concentration and may fare better if he is held up for his challenge.
Gimme Five: Pulled up in the National Hunt Handicap Chase at the Festival on Tuesday. He is well handicapped but made mistakes early on at Cheltenham.
Fissure Seal: Irish runner who is well-handicapped but has not shown any worthwhile form for many a day.
Una's Choice: This well handicapped 10-year-old may prove the pick of the Irish raiders off just 10st 3lb, but is prone to the odd mistake.
Over The Deel: A one-paced third in the Durham National at Sedgefield over three and a half miles. A grand old warrior in his day but not one for the short list.
Top Javalin: A course winner whose recent form suggests that he does not retain his old enthusiasm for the job.
Miss Orchestra: Another moderate campaigner who failed to justify favouritism last time. Will find it tough to compete with the principals.
Karar: Reliable but out of his depth.
Cool Runner: Not even Senor El Betrutti's trainer, Susan Nock, can work the oracle with this individual, who is two stones out of the handicap.
Woodlands Genhire: No hope.
Conclusion: The brave little grey DOM SAMOURAI goes into this marathon with rock-solid form and will be tough to beat on the evidence of his Greenalls Grand National Trial victory at Haydock. Kamikaze is the main danger but has a habit of making a costly mistake when the pressure is on. Call It A Day is a genuine stayer with a bit more class than most of his rivals, and can also finish in the money.
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