Major Dundee takes first step towards a possible National bid at Warwick on Wednesday

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November 6

With four seconds and a brace of thirds in the first week of November, it was a relief that Forever William got Barbury back in the winner’s enclosure when springing a 14-1 surprise at Plumpton today.

We have chances tomorrow with Royal Deeside, who had some consistent form in staying races on the Flat in the summer and has schooled well in readiness for his jumping debut at Warwick, being accompanied up the M40 by Nelson Criq, who also has his first run over timber in the Juvenile Hurdle.

Sandwiched in between those pair of lunchtime runners, we have Lunar Shadow chasing a sixth success in 2023 on the polytrack at Chelmsford.

Lunar Shadow has been a star this year for the Apple Tree Stud team, who also bred the mare, and she is only 4lb higher than when scoring over the same course and distance last month.

Two of our more high-profile horses are in action on Wednesday, with Major Dundee and the promising Helnwein looking to have solid chances.

Alan said:”Major Dundee did us proud when winning the Midlands National at Uttoxeter in March, having been quite badly jarred up at Ascot earlier in the season, and that effort convinced us to consider a crack at this year’s Grand National at Aintree. Remember, Major Dundee had also finished an excellent third in the Scottish version at Ayr the previous season,

“We also have races like the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury and the Classic Chase at Warwick as possible targets, though he will want proper winter underfoot conditions as I won’t take any more risks on watered ground.

“Noel Fehily’s racing syndicate own Helnwein, who makes his jumping debut on the Midlands course. It’s a track which I have always liked and supported, and Helnwein, who, though a big horse, has plenty of pace so should be suited by Warwick.

“We purposely took our time with Helnwein last season and kept him to bumpers, a move which could have been the making of him because he improved with every race and also progressed in his work at home. He won one bumper at Ffos Las and then ran well under a penalty at Uttoxeter, finishing third.

Also at Warwick we have Granny Hawkins running in the mares bumper. She caught the eye when rattling home in second at Southwell in June, and it will be good to have her back, as it will Betterforeveryone, who has his first run over fences in the three-mile handicap chase. He won over hurdles at Bangor this time last year.