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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Mulholland retains Midnight faithHeadlines
Midnight Chase

Trainer Neil Mulholland feels the handicapper has relented enough to make Midnight Chase a major player again.

The 11-year-old is without a win since landing last season's Argento Chase at Cheltenham, where he beat Tidal Bay.

He has since struggled in Graded races and will be dropped back into handicap company at the Cheltenham Festival before tackling the John Smith's Grand National.

"The ground has been a nightmare - not just for him, but for a lot of the horses," said Mulholland.

"He means an awful lot to me and we just hope that the ground does dry out over the next few months. He feels very well and is as good as ever - he just needs the ground.

"He'll more than likely go for the JLT Specialty Chase on the Tuesday at Cheltenham and then he'll head for the National.

"He loves Cheltenham and he's back down to a decent mark.

"Last year he won the Argento but the Gold Cup finished him for the season and didn't have the spark about him, but this year he's had a lighter campaign as we've had the Grand National in mind.

"Obviously he's not getting any younger, but his handicap mark is good enough to enable him to run well over his next couple of runs," the Wiltshire handler told At The Races.

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