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Time To Get Up: Bypassing of the Cheltenham Festival proves a masterstroke

Time To Get Up headed north rather than south and duly took the Midlands National the day after the Cheltenham Festival concluded



Time To Get Up ridden by Jonjo O'Neill Jr. on their way to winning the Marston's 61 Deep Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter racecourse. Picture date: Saturday March 20, 2021. See PA story RACING Uttoxeter. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

On the Monday before the Cheltenham Festival, Time To Get Up was a general 9/2 shot for the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup.

In the wake of the Irish domination at the National Hunt Olympics and the manner of Mount Ida’s easy success, despite the fact she looked violently outpaced in the early stages, there may not have been too much regret from those representing Jackdaws Castle that Time To Get Up had opted for the Midlands National.

As with Stratford’s season opener, the Uttoxeter showpiece sandwiches the biggest four days in National Hunt but merits respect in its own right for what is undoubtedly the most popular of its race meetings during the season.

watch: without time to get up to oppose, mount ida took the kim muir under jack kennedy [credit: racing tv]

And those who had their antepost money refunded once confirmed that JP McManus’s green-and-gold silk-bearer was Staffordshire bound were surely temped to reinvest for a Saturday flutter after Gold Cup Day.

This was especially given that the two biggest handicaps outside of the Festival in Britain, the Betfair Hurdle and Ladbrokes Trophy Chase, were both won by Jonjo O’Neill.

Time To Get Up’s stable-mate Cloth Cap took the Ladbrokes Trophy and currently heads the betting for the Grand National

And he would land another of the domestic clashes.

Under son Jonjo O’Neill Jr, Time To Get Up did indeed get up on time, taking the Listed event as a 3/1 favourite and beating Lucinda Russell’s Mighty Thunder.

Time To Get Up ridden by Jonjo O’Neill Jr. on their way to winning the Marston’s 61 Deep Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter Racecourse

Carrying just 10st 10lbs, he made a mockery of his mark of 138, travelling powerfully and jumping smoothly throughout the duration of the four-and-a-quarter-mile trip.

Sole Irish representative Screaming Colours finished fourth as the momentum from Gloucestershire for those over the sea halted temporarily.

Jump racing; the meetings come thick and fast, and there’s always the opportunity, be it for jockey, trainer, owner or punter, to claim some redemption when the bigger stage doesn’t always go your way…

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.