Tight victory for Master Overseer in Midlands Grand National

Midlands Grand National winner Master Overseer
Midlands Grand National winner Master Overseer

David Pipe's Master Overseer clinched a close win over Major Malarkey in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.

The 11-1 shot had to dig deep under Tom Scudamore to hold off the sustained challenge of Major Malarkey (14-1) by three-quarters of a length.

Steady rain made the four-mile-and-a-furlong race over 24 fences even tougher for the 16-strong field.

Ballyfitz (20-1), a stablemate of the runner-up, was 16 lengths behind in third, with 14-1 Ballyfoy fourth.

Brocade Racing-owned Master Overseer had been freshened up since disappointing trainer Pipe in the Welsh National.

The move paid off in his first start since December as the nine-year-old led from the front throughout alongside stablemate and top-weight Tamarinbleu.

Tamarinbleu weakened at the end of the race but Major Malarkey, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, threw down a strong challenge late on after coming from second last.

Master Overseer's victory made it a triumphant return for Pipe after he saddled Minella Four Star to success here last year.

The win also offered some consolation to Scudamore after for his narrow defeat in the Cheltenham Gold Cup on The Giant Bolster.