Monday July 9 2007
The ground had dried out a bit with slightly kinder weather in the east of Scotland.
2.30 5f 2yo Auction Maiden
One or two here who should be contesting 5/6f nurseries shortly. GRUDGE and ROCHEPORT showed decent early pace and should show up well when handicapped.
FOL HOLLOW burst clear 2 out and won comfortably. He's previously done well enough over 6f which gives his trainer a few alternatives, and has now run well both in heavy and on good ground.
RIEVAULX VALENTINO struggled with the pace early, but came through nicely in the final furlong.
3.00 1m 6f Handicap
SCAVONIC and RED SUN went off a good clip. RED SUN increased the pace into the straight but had come to the end of his tether 2 out. He stays 2m, is on a mark round about his winning mark, so a win is possible in the near future.
ARTLESS was always handy, moved up nicely 2 out and stayed on well enough. Lightly raced and in the right hands to expect some improvement. Sir Mark will no doubt have something in mind for this one.
NIMRA kept on well in second, though disappointed when favourite previously and it's possible this one might just be difficult to win with.
COTTON EYED JOE had every chance but wasn't good enough when push came to shove.
3.30 7f Auction Maiden
Exposed types here. They set off a rattling pace and I suspect TOMMY TOBOUGG, who's been dotted around in trip, probably just had the race fall right for him.
4.00 7f 2yo Handicap
Disappointing 5 runner turn out for the nursery.
APOLLO SHARK stayed on really well confirming Thirsk promise. SUITE FRANCHISE helped set a decent pace, kept on well, and is bred to suited be by further.
4.30 5f Handicap
All bar the Nolan contestants looked competitive in this. In the event Kelly Harrison, who looks a pretty decent apprentice to me, brought ROTHESAY DANCER through smoothly in the final furlong.
5.00 7f Handicap
As so often Musselburgh 7f events, they hared off toward the first bend here, and those prominent on the turn were best placed at the end.
SANDS OF BARRA was caught flat footed, never got into in from the outside box and is capable of better. Ignore this run.
The main contenders were in a heap 2 out, ATTACCA coming out of the pack to record a third C/D win. Other than the course record he tends only to win in his turn.
5.30 1m 3yo Handicap
A moderate bunch who only win in their turn, and many with a lot of mileage on the clock.
DRINK TO ME ONLY's form tends to mix big numbers with 1's which does help the price when he sticks his head in front. He just held on from the consistent EMPEROR'S WELL. KIRKBY'S TREASURE started slowly, but they don't go quite as quickly early over the mile as the seven furlong trip, so he steadily got back into it, just lacking a further burst close home and just held in third.
I hope to get to Hamilton and Perth over the weekend. Lookout for a couple of course focuses on The Racing Forum.