Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shotgun Can Shoot for Glory after All

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shotgun Can Shoot for Glory after All

Article excerpt

SHOTGUN Paddy can enjoy his moment in the spotlight in the Betfred Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.

The nine-year-old proved a bitter disappointment in this event last term, being pulled up after getting tailed off, but his preparation appeared nowhere near as good as it has been this time around.

Shotgun Paddy has hardly looked back since that run, reappearing with a fine fifth behind Sausalito Sunrise at Cheltenham in November before claiming an admirable third under joint top weight in the Welsh National.

The desperate ground on that occasion certainly did not play to his strengths but he kept ploughing away to take minor honours, with the handicapper subsequently dropping him 1lb after his defeat.

He was still saddled with a hefty burden in the Eider at Newcastle, where he unsurprisingly found the lightlyweighted and relatively unexposed - for an 11-yearold - Rocking Blues nine lengths too good.

That was still an excellent effort and shows he remains competitive off his current mark, although his jumping could sometimes be a little sharper.

Shotgun Paddy still faces a tough assignment but Emma Lavelle has had this race on the agenda for a little while now and it would be frustrating if he cannot make his presence felt again.

A Hare Breath missed the cut for Cheltenham but can gain compensation in the Kempton Park Silver Plate at Kempton.

Ben Pauling's charge was winner at Cheltenham in November and after having to settle for second behind Solstice Star next time, he bounced back with a 10-length call at this track in January.

He lines up here off a mark of 137 and while that was not high enough to land him a Cheltenham run, it looks a nicely competitive mark for a race like this.

Nicky Henderson tasted the highs of Festival glory - what a day it was with Sprinter Sacre - and while his Brain Power did not quite make it to the big meeting, victory awaits in the racinguk. …

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