A total of 65 horses have been entered for the 2018 Betfred Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter Racecourse on Saturday 17 March. The feature race of the season at Uttoxeter, takes place on St Patricks Day this year and will be run over 4 mile 2 furlongs with a total prize fund of £125,000.
The Class 1 chase has once again attracted some of the top staying steeplechasers from across Britain and Ireland, with nearly one third of the entries carrying a BHA rating of 140 and above.
The entries are headed by Harry Fry’s 157 rated AMERICAN, a winner at this fixture in 2017, with Venetia Williams’ YALA ENKI, winner of Haydock’s Grand National Trial, the second highest rated entry at 152. Another interesting entry is Nicky Richards’ BAYWING, who flew home to win last weekend’s 2018 Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle Racecourse which is run over similar distance.
2017 Midlands Grand National winner, CHASE THE SPUD, may bid to defend his crown once more and could be up against the horse he beat for the £70,000+ winner’s prize that day, MYSTEREE, trained by Michael Scudamore.
Closer to home, two Uttoxeter Racecourse sponsors and partners have entries. David Fox of PP Control & Automation and sponsor of the racecourse’s Trainer and Jockey Championship, has an entry with Tom George trained SAINT ARE, who took a well-deserved second place in the 2017 Aintree Grand National, whilst Julie Morgan of Pektron has the Sue Smith trained HAINAN.
RAZ DE MAREEE has enjoyed success over long distance chases having won January’s Welsh Grand National at Chepstow following its abandonment in December when he was ridden by up and coming star of the weighing room, sixteen year old James Bowen.
Trainer David Pipe has an outstanding record in the race, having won four times in a row between 2011 and 2014, and has entered a total of 3 this year, whilst Noel Meade also fancies his chances with 4 entered from across the Irish Sea.
Four races from Uttoxeter will be broadcast by ITV Racing, including the Betfred Midlands Grand National.
Uttoxeter Racecourse Executive Director David MacDonald commented, “We’re extremely happy with this year’s entries for the Betfred Midlands Grand National and it looks set to be another competitive race, with a full quality field. Once again I thank the team at Betfred, who have supported this meeting for the last 7 years and have helped Uttoxeter to deliver compelling racing and fantastic crowds.”
“As its St. Patrick’s Day we will be celebrating with Irish music live before racing within the all-new Guinness Village located in the Centre Course, not forgetting that punters can also enjoy the full England vs Ireland Six Nations match which will be televised on a giant screen within the marquee. You can also expect entertainment from Back Chat Brass who will be making their Uttoxeter debut putting a brassy twist on classic tunes, along with vintage sounds from Gloria Sunset Duo.”
Tickets start at £15 for Centre Course, £25 for Grandstand & Paddock or £35 for Premier. There is limited hospitality available with just a few tables left within the Paddock Marquee.
For full details, visit http://www.uttoxeter-racecourse.co.uk/whats-on/utt-2018-betfred-midlands-grand-national.
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Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) is the largest racecourse operator in the UK. In 2018 ARC Group racecourses will host 522 fixtures with 1.2 million people attending racing at one of ARC’s racecourses each year.
ARC is made up of the following sixteen racecourses: Bath, Brighton, Chepstow, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Fontwell Park, Great Yarmouth, Hereford, Lingfield Park, Newcastle, Royal Windsor, Sedgefield, Southwell, Uttoxeter, Wolverhampton and Worcester.
ARC runs four of the six all-weather racecourses in the UK offering three different types of surface for horses to run on: Polytrack at Lingfield Park, fibresand at Southwell Racecourse and tapeta at Newcastle and Wolverhampton Racecourses – the only tapeta racing surfaces in Europe.
In 2013 ARC pioneered the All-Weather Championships which see horses compete throughout the winter for the chance of qualifying for a £1 million Finals Day on Good Friday at Lingfield Park. This initiative is helping raise the profile and prestige of all-weather racing in Great Britain.
ARC hosts racing at all levels of the sport from Class 7 through to Group 1s. Doncaster Racecourse is home to the world’s oldest Classic, the St Leger, run each year in September as part of the four-day St Leger Festival. Feature jumps races include the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle Racecourse, the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow Racecourse and Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
As well as racing, ARC also operates a hotel at Wolverhampton Racecourse, a hotel, spa resort and golf course at Lingfield Park and The Border Minstrel public house at Newcastle Racecourse in the grounds of Gosforth Park. A new hotel at Doncaster Racecourse is under construction and will open in the summer of 2018.
ARC is a significant shareholder in the horseracing TV channel At The Races which is broadcast on the Sky platform to c.14 million homes, and a JV partner with Racing UK in GBI Racing which sells UK and Irish Racing to betting shop operators around the world.
ARC plays a pivotal role in British Racing. It is a shareholder in British Champions Series and Racecourse Data Company; a signatory to a British Horseracing Authority’s and Horsemen’s Group Prize Money Agreement; and on the boards of the Racecourse Association (“RCA”), Great British Racing (“GBR”) and British Champion Series (“BCS”).
In 2015 ARC set up The Racing Partnership. This limited company represents the media rights of the 15 ARC owned-racecourses and the 7 independent racecourses Fakenham, Ffos Las, Hexham, Newton Abbot, Plumpton, Ripon and Towcester.
In addition to racecourses ARC owns Newcastle and Sunderland Greyhound Stadia and looks after the media interests of the Greyhound Media Group (“GMG”).
ARC employs 650 permanent staff and engages with 3,500 casual staff for racing and events across its racecourses. Further information about ARC can be found at www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk.