Tight victory for Master Overseer in Midlands Grand National

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.