Tag Archives: Musselburgh

Monday Selections: 27th June 2022

2.15 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Lady Celia looks ready to roll. She ran a lot better the last two times than the bare form suggests. Two back at Ayr she finished the last three furlongs the fastest. That piece of form looks strong thanks to the winner having franked the form in no uncertain terms in the meantime.

She backed up over 6 furlongs at Hamilton eleven days ago when prominent, up with a strong pace and she just went down fighting in the closing stages in what was a hot contest.

The minimum trip is her preferred distance, though. Off bottom-weight with the added bonus of 5lb claimer Oisin McSweeney in the saddle she is a major chance given that all her wins came from the lower end of the weight scale.

I have some reservations about the fastish ground and hope the showers this morning can take a bit of sting out of it. In any case Ponti’s stiff finish should suit this mare and she looks overpriced given the favourite takes up a lot of space in the market.

Possibly rightly so, but another 6lb hike and a 10-3 weight is no easy task for Elegant Erin.

10pts win – Lady Celia @ 8.5

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8.00 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Chant For More ran really well over this course and distance in April, finishing much the strongest and was probably a bit unlucky not to get his head in front.

He’s got starting issues as on show the last two times. Although Catterick can be ignored given he also stumbled badly when it looked he may come with a run. He ran an interesting race at Redcar last time, doing a lot in the middle part, proving speed isn’t an issue, more the need for a solid start.

There is a clear danger he messes up at the break today. However, he will come from off the pace in any case. He’s on the same mark as in April, but meets Waverley Star who was 2nd that day , and won in the meantime, at 5lb better handicap terms.

In addition 5lb claimer Ryan Saxton takes the ride for a yard in form and will give Chant For Me every chance to win.

Some unexposed sorts are in the field. Most notably the O’Meara runner. While Hugh Taylor tipped Sheikh Maz Mahood here. There are dangers, ther are risks to Chant For More’s chances.

At the same time two competitive horses are already out. So all in all Chant For More is clearly well handicapped today I feel, and all it needs is first a half decent break and then a clear run.

10pts win – Chant For More @ 4/1

Saturday Selections: 4th June 2022

Kimngrace was the winner I needed yesterday. Despite all the trouble in the world she delivered the good when most needed. Another winner today – on Derby Day – would be very much appreciated.

4.41 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Northbound was a massive eyecatcher at Thirsk in April on his first outing in 2022. He travelled smoothly on the inside, still hard on the bridle approaching the final furlong but never got a run. He finished eye-catchingly well in one of the fasted final furlong splits despite being hard held.

He couldn’t follow up at Wolverhampton last month but his race was effectively over as soon as it began. Impeded right out of the gates and the door shut for any progress he had to settle at the rear of the field while the race very much developed at the front. This run is best ignored and I take the Thirsk performance as reference for his current form.

He hasn’t won since his juvenile days, but has been competitive and placed numerous times last season without winning. He was placed of 65 and ran to Topspeed 58, 59 and 61 last year. He also has a career best 71 TS rating, albeit over the minimum trip.

His mark has fallen another 3lb in the meantime, in fact it’s 5lb lower than at Thirsk. He looks seriously well handicapped if he can show the level of performance he did in April.

10pts win – Northbound @ 7/1

Saturday Selections: 21st May 2022

4.48 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

An uncompetitive race that screams longshot. The favourite Aquamas goes for a hat-trick and may have found a great opportunity but I don’t think he’s overly well handicapped of his revised mark.

From the bottom of the weights – in fact one pound out off the weights – The Retriever makes appeal to me. There are clear risks attached to his chances – his turf form in particular is concerning – but there is a case to be made for him.

The 7-year-old has is on a good stretch of form on the All-Weather. He got almightily close over 7f at Wolverhampton last time out and was only caught late in March over the same CD as well. The form of those two races worked out quite well in the meantime. Especially last month when he grabbed the lead from the widest draw and got only caught on the line rates a big performance

As for his poor turf form: I look for some hope to his penultimate turf run at Catterick back in June 2021 when he was caught wide, always travelling on the outside of the field, but some late headway to finish in 4th place.

I feel conditions today will be just about right at a track that favours the speed horses. He’s got to overcome the widest draw, which is a negative given there is also competition for the lead.

Nonetheless, off a basement mark with the additional assistance of excellent 7lb claimer Aiden Brookes in the saddle The Retriever looks a whole lot more dangerous than the price suggests – granted he’s here to run on merit.

10pts win – The Retriever @ 14.5/1

Monday Selections: 9th May 2022

2.40 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Two of my eyecatchers run here but the market clearly speaks in favour of Pop Dancer. That’s the one I preferred looking at the race last night anyway. Secretfact will have another day on turf over fast 5f soon, hopefully.

The money has been coming for Pop Dancer all morning, and even though I missed all the big prices, the move gives me confidence today is the day.

The 5-year-old caught my eye in a wild 5 furlong sprint at Epsom last month which Mokaatil won. The form looks good through the winner and third having run well in the meantime.

That day Pop Dancer was one of those who travelled strongly but didn’t find a gap when needed at a crucial stage of the race. He also fell down the camber late, even though the bird was flown at that time anyway.

Pop Dancer hasn’t set the world alight in the last year or so. Consequently he’s a long way down in the ratings. But I feel this most recent run was much better than the bare result. His previous topspeed ratings give him a great chance of his current 67 mark with his wellbeing confirmed.

He handles the All-Weather, is down in class 5 and has a good draw to attack the race from. I never like to see Luke Morris in the saddle and the stable form is a real concern. But there is more to like today than not about his chance with prices still too big.

10pts win – Pop Dancer @ 9/1

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4.20 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

The favourite remains potentially well handicapped and has been given a big chance by the handicapper to make it two wins from his last three runs. But he has to stretch out over a mile and had already three hard runs in about three weeks.

When Rum Going On won at Musselburgh two back Cobra Kai was big eyecatcher for me. He had a horrible race then, hampered in the early parts of the race and severely lit up, not getting a clear run in the home straight too, yet finishing well in third place given circumstances.

That was an excellent follow-up performance from his solid seasonal reappearance at Newcastle. Cobra Kai is certainly in fine form and appears to be improving.

He tackles the mile for the first time. I have not many worries on pedigree. He should stay and should find improvement for it. The key question is whether he can settle. He may burn out early. My hope is Andrew Mullen goes forward from his good draw and let the gelding find a rhythm.

Despite being a maiden, I have a strong feeling Cobra Kai is quite a bit better than a 49 official rating. If he can improve for the trip as I expect him to do he could make a mockery of this mark.

10pts win – Cobra Kai @ 15/2

Thursday Selections: 28th April 2022

A disappointing run from Essme last night at Brighton. The filly was mad keen, stumbled midway and wasn’t able to sustain an effort in the closing stages.

I am prepared to give her another chance, though. Things simply didn’t go to plan for her yesterday. It was a wild race, as it can be with these races at Brighton.

I still think she can win a race, especially of her low mark. Perhaps a drop to 6 furlongs could do the trick. Though I wouldn’t lose hope over 7f either. It was her first run in quite some time. So she was obviously rather fresh.

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5.05 Musselburgh: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Quick turnaround for Fanzone here after he made a fine comeback at Ayr only three days ago.

That day he was a touch slowly away but also seemed to be slightly impeded moments after the start. Nonetheless, he travelled well for most of the race, although became flat footed two furlongs out when the pace got really hot.

He made his challenge on the outside of the field and clearly took his time to hit top gear. He motored home well to claim 4th place in the end.

This was Fanzone’s first run after a break and a wind operation which appears to have worked, judged by how he finished his race.

Fanzone showed promise earlier in his career but changed yards and lost form over the last two years which meant his handicap mark has tumbled dramatically.

Now down to a really sexy mark of 58 he’s an intriguing runner back up to 7 furlongs of bottom weight today. Good jockey booking adds a bit of confidence.

10pts win – Fanzone @ 10.5/1

Saturday Selections: June, 1st 2019

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Read my Derby Preview Here

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4.00 Musselburgh: Listed Fillies’ Stakes, 7f

There is not a lot of depth in this race. Favourite Red Starlight is solid, but nothing more. The forecast favourite Indian Blessing has been drifting all day long. I remain interested in the 5-year-old mare nonetheless.

The ground is the main question mark for me. It may be too soft for her, given her best form is on a faster surface. On the other hand she ran well in a Listed contest in France a couple of years ago with cut in the ground.

The trip looks sure to suit, given Indian Blessing is a winner over 7 furlongs – albeit on the All-Weather – and has been placed a couple of times as well.

She is clearly setting the standard in this race as the highest rated individual who is also a Group 3 winner already. Indian Blessing did perform well in a few graded contests in the US last season – so I do hope her poor seasonal reappearance at the Curragh last month will bring her on quite a bit.

If Indian Blessing runs to to form she’s the one to beat, no doubt. So, even though there are a few doubts, at given prices I’m with her.

Selection:
10pts win – Indian Blessing @ 6/1 MB

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4.55 Musselburgh: Class 3 Handicap, 5f

Requinto Dawn has dropped to a tasty mark largely due to poor showings this season. However, he ran rather eye-catchingly last time out at Redcar, after dwelling in the starting gates, he finished seemingly with a bit in the tank with the pack without ever getting any serious questions asked by the jockey.

The handicapper has given him a major chance now, taking another 3lb off the mark, which leaves Requinto Dawn a whopping 12lb lower than his last winning mark!

He proved competitive of marks in the high 80’s last summer, so with this recent run appearing as if there’s still some life left, Requinto Dawn could be tremendously well in today, also having the added bonus of a fair 5lb claimer in the saddle.

The ground shouldn’t be an issue. His career highest time-speed rating came on soft going. In fact, the bit of cut in the ground may help to slow down things a little bit and put more emphasis on stamina, which will suit, given Requinto Dawn stays further than the minimum trip.

Selection:
10pts win – Requinto Dawn @ 7.8/1 MB