Tag Archives: Musselburgh

Friday Racing Tips

2.30 Musselburgh: Maiden Stakes, 5f

This shapes like a two-horse-race with slightly more experienced Faithful Promise heading the betting at the moment, closely followed by Fahey’s colt Shobrom.

The filly was arguably unlucky the other day when an agonisingly close runner-up. However she goes against boys now for the first time and it won’t be any easier.

Shobrom ran well on debut in a decent Newmarket maiden that already works out okay and should have decent potential for improvement. Richard Fahey’s form with two year old maidens at Musselburgh is quite tremendous over the years, so Shobrom’s chance is enhanced in my book.

Given both, Faithful Promise and Shobrom, ran to pretty similar form the last time rating wise, you would hope that the colt has more upside given he achieved it first time out.

10pts win – Shobrom @ 13/8 Paddy Power


3.40 Lingfield: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

This looks like an ideal opportunity for Mark Johnston to follow on from his tremendous record as this track with fine sprinter Highly Sprung. The four year old ran with plenty of credit at Leicester when last seen and remains on his last winning mark too.

However he drops to 5f, a trip he only ran twice over in his career. With his early pace and a decent draw this could suit perfectly here at Lingfield, where Zebedee offspring has a sensational CD record.

Given Highly Sprung ran numerous times to higher RPR’s than his current handicap rating and having been rated 10lb higher only back in September 2016, there is a pretty good chance that he has a bit in hand with conditions very likely to suit.

10pts win – Highly Sprung @ 9/2 Bet365

Race of the Day

After a an excellent Good Friday and overall immensely satisfying week on the betting front I’ll throw my hat into the ring for one final roll of the dice before existing the week for a quiet, peaceful and stress-free weekend!

The race of the day comes from the Scottish Musselburgh today – the Class 2 Royal Mile Handicap for three year old’s sees the return of some promising individuals. Though the nature of this type of race at this early stage of the flat season also means it tends to be quite an open race.

Nonetheless it is no surprise to see a William Haggas trained inmate at the top of the charts. His Sir Prancelot gelding Novoman has been incredibly consistent as a juvenile.He’s  been out of the money only once in six starts last year.

He steps up to the one mile trip for the first time and that could edge out further improvement, which is needed, though, because judged on his juvenile form you can easily argue that he is not overly well handicapped.

Personally I’m not sure if Novoman really wants this trip and at odds around 7/2 he appears to be not a particularly good bet.

Hugo Palmer saddles speedy Mazyoun. Already Listed placed, he also ran twice to a RPR of 91, so if he can stay this 1 mile trip plus has improved over the winter then he could well be ahead of his current handicap mark.

A whole armada goes to post for Richard Fahey. He has four in the race, with the four-timer seeking Rashford’s Double the most likely winner. He is already a distance winner and has potential to be even better than what he showed last year given Zoffany offspring tends to age well.

The ground is a slight worry for me as  he already stayed beyond a mile as a juvenile and might find quick ground not necessarily playing to his strengths.

Top weight Mailshot has a big assignment of mark off 99 and is certainly exposed enough compared to others, however one the other hand he’s ever improving, won last month a fine Handicap at Chelmsford and is sure to run well today.

Rusumaat hails from the same yard as Mailshot does, providing Mark Johnston with a strong hand in the race. This lad is a busy campaigner who has already eight runs under his belt, but it is fair to say he went from strengths to strengths last season.

His final appearance in a big sales race at Doncaster can be forgiven as he reared at the start and made too much too soon subsequently. The trip is the worry today, yet not totally beyond him. He’s certainly fast, however breeding gives him a chance and he will love the fast ground.

That brings me to the one I feel could be well handicapped: It’s one Fahey’s four: Society Red – a mark of 80 could well be underestimate what he can do as a three year old. It’s only 2lb higher than when finishing a strong runner-up in his final race and handicap debut last season.

That day the leader eventually pulled out more in a slowly run race and Society Rock was clearly not favoured by the pace. However he was only beaten by a neck eventually behind a then 92 rated individual who also franked the form in the meantime.

This son of Arcano could easily improve as a three year old and despite not fully tested over the slowly run mile in his final race last year, given his dam is a winner of a listed race over this trip in soft ground , he is likely to see out the trip strongly.

From a good draw, with conditions likely to suit, I feel he’s overpriced in a race that has questions marks over all of the twelve individuals going to post at 3pm this afternoon.

10pts win – Society Red @ 12/1 Bet365

Starshaped’s a “Good Thing” at Musselburgh


Thanks to gutsy Bondi Beach the weekend didn’t end in a draught. The 9/1 winner of the Group 3 Curragh Cup clearly limited the losses, nonetheless it wasn’t a particularly good weekend at Irish flat racing’s HQ – from a punting perspective at least. Here’s hoping for better this week….

9.15 Musselburgh: Handicap (Class 6), 1m

Usually I avoid these low grade handicaps, but I believe to have found a “good thing” in this particular race. Starshaped has been moved to the UK after three poor performances in maiden company in Ireland. He took advantage of a lenient opening mark in a low grade handicap at Newcastle four weeks ago.

Up with the leading pack, he quickened away from 2f out once the pace collapsed. He won pretty easily in the end. 7lb hike in the mark for this success looks fair but may not stop him. He has been gelded in the meantime and that as well as natural progression should bring out a bit more.

He has been allocated a poor draw but may be able to overcome it – and hopefully does, since it is an advantage to be up with the pace at Musselburgh. Positive tactics were employed the last time, so it’s likely to be same today. If they make a bit of use of his stamina early on it shouldn’t be a problem as he is entitled to stay further on pedigree.

So I’d expect him to be in the right position when it matters. It’s a very winnable race and it looks significant that jockey Ronnan Whelan comes over from Ireland for this one single ride.

Starshaped @ 10/3 Betfred – 10pts Win

Preview – Musselburgh Gold Cup


An intriguing contest which should turn into a real stamina test. Progressive stayer Handiwork looks to have a big shout with Joe Fanning on board. His ability to handle soft ground and to stay two miles are a key combination today. I feel further improvement is already very much reflected in the short odds, though. Top weight Lady Kashaan goes well with cut in the ground, but the trip stretches her stamina and with a very big weight to overcome, she may struggle here. Usually in attacking mode, Be Perfect must have a serious chance if he handles the ground. But despite drying ground, it remains very much on the slow side, and that is a concern.

Streets Of Newyork was in good nick over hurdles this year already and now back on the flat off a fair mark, he should have a good chance, though his best performances on the flat came over shorter trips. The lightly races Royal Signaller could easily have still more to offer. The trip and ground are slight worries. If he handles both, he’ll  be a big runner. Same applies to Braes Of Lochalsh. First start in handicaps & feather weight are an interesting combination, but he’s completely unproven on ground and trip and could be anything.

From a betting perspective I feel Richard Guest’s runner Precision Strike is a very big price. It remains to be seen if the track plays to his strengths, but the five year old clearly handles ground and trip. He was a really progressive stayer last season, culminating back in October in an excellent success in a 2m Handicap at Haydock. He probably needed his recent outing at Wolverhampton and while he was a long way beaten, one would expect him to be much more competitive today. If he can make enough progress entering the home straight to be not too far of the pace, he will have a big shout in this I feel.

3.25 Musselburgh: Musselburgh Gold Cup
Precision Strike @ 22/1 Bet365 – 5pts win

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