Alan King’s Major Dundee was an impressive winner of the Boulton Group Midlands Grand National Handicap Chase at Uttoxeter.
Ridden by Rex Dingle and starting at 12-1, the eight-year-old carried the colours of the late Trevor Hemmings to a tough staying performance when jumping well and prevailing by three lengths.
Third in the Scottish Grand National last season, the gelding could now return to the same race at Ayr in the spring having defeated Chris Honour’s Tile Tapper by three lengths.
King said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. It’s been a difficult season because we ran him at Ascot in the early season and he just got jarred up.
“It’s been a struggle to get him back, he ran OK at Kempton the other day but he’s just much better going left-handed. I was thrilled with him today.
“It’s the first ride that Rex has ever had for me and the one thing I said to him was just to try to get into a rhythm and then see what happens.
“That’s exactly what he did, got him travelling, got him jumping. I was very pleased all round.
“He’s had a hard race today on that ground, I would imagine it would be the Scottish Grand National or that’s him for the year, we’ll see. I’m delighted to win that race and he’s still a young horse, so there’s hopefully more to come.
“As a novice last year he finished third in the Scottish National. He’s a typical Hemmings type of horse so it’s very special.”