Past Winners » Midnight Sail


There are reasons for taking on some of the top horses in the market here. Milarrow probably doesn’t have anything in hand of the handicapper, Filbert has been given a harsh-looking opening handicap mark over fences and the drop in trip is far from certain to suit Storming Gale (it wasn’t lack of stamina that caused him to be beaten last time). As a result, there is a good angle into the race.

Both Lexicon Lad and Midnight Sail will be well-suited by the drying ground, and I am backing both of them …

I think that Midnight Sail is also too big at 6/1 or 13/2. He is an under-rated horse, presumably because he finishes second a lot, but he has bumped into several well-handicapped horses and ran really well against them, and the drying ground should be in his favour too.

Three runs ago he was beaten just half a length by Mister Hyde at Market Rasen and the winner, who was wearing a first-time visor and was given a good ride by AP McCoy. He went on to win a better race at Kempton over Christmas very easily, for which he was subsequently raised 13lb. On his next run, Midnight Sail ran another cracker against the lightly-raced and progressive Easter Meteor.

Easter Meteor was completely unhassled out in front that day – the final time was 1.7secs slower than the 0-125 beginners’ chase earlier on the card – and Midnight Sail was held up towards the rear of the smallish field and had to come through between horses to lay down a challenge, pulling a long way clear of the rest. He moved into second after the fourth last fence, but had to pull around Easter Meteor and he was away to his right at the last fence (the usual second last), so had to move back left to come around the last hurdle and then move back around the omitted final fence. Easter Meteor drew on by a few lengths close home but he had everything go his way, his jumping was really good out in front. Midnight Sail deserves more credit than he received for that effort.

Alan King’s horse disappointed on his only run since then, but that was on heavy ground and he didn’t appreciate that at all. Back on a sound surface, he should run well again today off his mark of 127, still 2lb lower than his hurdles mark.