Major Dundee so brave as he wins the big one at Uttoxeter
Last week was a frustrating one for Barbury, what with Edwardstone choosing the most important two-mile steeplechase of the season to produce far and away the worst performance of his career.
However, it was not all doom and gloom for the stable, with three winners and six others finishing in the frame, and, while Alan had nothing to celebrate at Kempton, he had good reason to pop off for a glass half-way through the afternoon on the Sunbury course, courtesy of Major Dundee‘s gallant success in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.
It was Alan’s first triumph in the gruelling Staffordshire marathon – he also had the third in 25-1 shot Notachance – but he already has a Welsh and Scottish National on his CV, and with there being four and a half weeks for Major Dundee to recover from the hard race he had north of the border, we are hoping that ‘The Major’ will be back at Ayr on April 22 to try and go two places better than he did last year.
Alan, who being born close to the Ayr track has always preferred the Scottish version to Aintree, said:”It all depends on whether Major Dundee recovers in time as he had a hard race in Scotland, but ran so well to finish third at Ayr 12 months ago when still a novice, and it is his type of race. We won it with Godsmejudge in 2013, and I’ve had the race in mind for Major Dundee since last spring.”
Major Dundee, who carries the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings. fought hard up the straight to get on top and win by three lengths, and Alan was delighted with the way Rex Dingle, having his first ride for the stable, handled the horse.
He said:”We were on the backfoot with Major Dundee early on this season as we ran him at Ascot in October and he came back jarred up. It has been a struggle to get him back, and, though he ran ok at Kempton last time, it was the wrong way round for him. He much prefers going left-handed and I was thrilled with the way he jumped at Uttoxeter and also the way Rex rode him.
“The one thing I said to Rex was try and get him into a rhythm and that is exactly what he did. ‘The Major’ was travelling and jumping and I was thrilled with both horse and jockey. Major Dundee is only a young horse, so there is hopefully more to come and he is a typical type of Hemmings horse.”