Preview: Balmoral Cup Handicap

The rain softened ground, the 1m 8f trip and that we’re just right at the beginning of the new 2015 flat season are the facts responsible for a wide open renewal of the Balmoral Cup.

It looks significant that Gorden Elliott comes over from Ireland with versatile Bayan. A grade 3 winning hurdler, he has also been successful in Handicaps on the flat and is sure to be suited by trip and ground. He has a fine chance to score, but must overcome a career highest mark.

Unexposed Mistiroc could progress further this season. He is on a fair mark, though tries a new trip. He showed some liking for softish ground last year, so if he can stay the trip, he’ll be in with a big shot. Esteaming, Aramist and Suraj all have form on soft ground, but a combination of trip, handicap mark or lack of recent run, are big questions marks.

Formerly an excellent runner-up in the Melbourne Cup, Kelinni is a very interesting alternative here. He hasn’t exactly excelled in the UK, but has a recent run under his belt which should help to bring him along nicely for this. It is also noteworthy that he probably didn’t have his optimum conditions last season, with the one exception, when he finished a very gallant third, less than two lengths beaten, behind Gatewood in a Listed event. The soft ground will suit and the trip poses no problem to him. With Spencer in the saddle, a big run looks on the cards.

2.25 Musselburgh: Balmoral Cup Handicap (Class 2)
Kelinni @ 11/1 Bet365 – 5pts win

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