‘Extraordinary’ Spirit could chart direct route to Midlands National

Seaston Spirit could head straight for the Midlands Grand National following his victory at Plumpton on Sunday.

Reverting to the larger obstacles after a 21-length success over hurdles at Ffos Las in November, Oliver Sherwood’s charge produced a career-best performance to land the Sussex National and claim a fifth win from his last six starts.

“I’m well happy with him. He’s a tough horse – he’s extraordinary,” said the Lambourn handler.

“Leighton Aspell (retired jockey) actually sent me a message of congratulations after the race and reminded me that he’d won on the horse just over a year ago off a mark of 98. He’s now won a Sussex National off 125.

“He was entered at the sales not long after Leighton won on him, so he was literally in the last-chance saloon. He obviously heard about it as he’s taken off since!

“He can still make the odd mistake, but we expect that and he’s going the right way, obviously.”

Sherwood hopes there is more to come from his charge, who may not run again before bidding for big-race honours at Uttoxeter on March 20.

He added: “The Midlands National would be the ideal race for him. I don’t know what he’ll go up for winning at Plumpton, but I think it should get him in off a low weight at Uttoxeter.

“I’m not entirely convinced he’s ready for Newbury or Sandown or somewhere like that.

“I’m going to have no choice but to go for those kind of races because of his mark. Whether he’ll go to Uttoxeter without a run, I don’t know, but my feeling is he probably will.”

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