MUSSELBURGH – Saturday June 6th
Going – Good to Firm
Ladies’ Day at Musselburgh, a meeting which sold out months in advance, and 9,000 packed into the links venue for one of the better quality Scottish flat cards outside Ayr.
2.20 5f Class 2 2yo Stakes
A decent two-year-old event with over £15,000 win prize money up for grabs.
CAPERCAILLIE made it two out of two and I would expect her to go on to Royal Ascot now, though the Johnston stable had yet to make a firm decision. Racing prominently, she was pushed clear in the final furlong and gives the impression there is more in the tank. I would have thought she would handle a sixth furlong.
REIGNIER, a winner here last time, is progressing nicely and there should be another race in him shortly.
DANCING FREDDY found things happening a bit quickly early on but picked up nicely toward the finish. He had made the pace in his previous races, but it’s a good sign that being out speeded didn’t faze him.
DISPOL KEASHA is an early speed merchant who has found the company a bit too strong in the latter stages of her last two races. She looks material for five furlong nurseries.
ARCHERS ROAD, the most raced two-year-old on the circuit, couldn’t make an impact in the closing stages and 9-9 is a big burden at this stage of his career. His trainer may have to trawl the conditions of races to find easier opportunities.
2.50 1m 4 ½ f 0-90 3yo Handicap
The form of this race proved strong last year and there is no reason to suggest it won’t work out well this time.
Mark Johnston is not frightened to teach his horses to settle in front and on that subject he may have something to teach a Mr O’Brien whose own tactics seemed a bit astray in the Derby. Often Johnston front-runners will find something more when challenged and this was the case with QUAI D’ORSAY.
The secret with a good front-runner is to set the pace well enough to leave something for the final two furlongs. Joe Fanning did this to perfection here and nothing was getting to QUAI D’ORSAY in the final furlong. His previous effort on heavy can be ignores and his Chester run looks strong. He will have to be placed above this class next time but is progressing.
KINGS DESTINY suffered interference when the winner crossed him around the furlong pole, but it made not a jot of difference to the result. He was clear of the remainder and looks steadily progressive.
NON DOM stayed on from the back and, off a mark of 75, will find easier opportunities.
CITIZENSHIP was given every chance and seemed to run to his mark and his level is probably run-of-the-mill 0-80 or 0-85s.
3.20 5f 0-105 Handicap
As usual this event provided a competitive field, but it was won by an outsider trying the trip for the first time.
Although PAVERSHOOZ had never raced over the minimum before, he went the pace comfortably and then picked up from 300 yards out. There didn’t seem too much of a fluke about it and his trainer now has further options.
RIVER FALCON finished fast to head the pack. He runs honest races regularly but only has one win in his last 43 races.
There was very little to choose between MASTA PLASTA, HAMISH MACGONAGALL, CITY DANCER and ISHETOO behind the front two and all can be taken as ‘in form’.
3.50 5f 0-82 Handicap
This was a consolation race for the previous event. Normally such events might be expected to fill, but this one didn’t and ended up a run-of-the-mill contest.
BLUE TOMATO quickened nicely to take this and is on a roll at the moment. He has a good record of 3 out of 9 at Musselburgh, but is strongest at Wolverhampton where he has only been out of the first three once from 8 attempts. Keep an eye out in the better sprint handicaps at the Midlands Polytrack venue.
TITUS ANDRONICUS led and looked the winner a furlong out only to be collared close home. He is a three-year-old going forward and shouldn’t be unduly punished for this close up run.
SILVANUS stayed on for third. He’s dropped to a mark of 67, which is as low as he has ever been, so would be very interesting dropped down to a 0-70 or 0-75 where he may have the ‘class edge’. His form pattern tends to be in waves and I reckon a crest might be imminent.
RESTLESS GENIUS was dropped back to five furlongs and ran as if the six would be more helpful.
4.40 1m 1f Class 5 Selling Stakes
Not a race to get too excited about. FLORES SEA looked best at the weights but was just held in second.
SAN SILVESTRO won this and theoretically might be capable of winning a low grade handicap off a mark around 55. However, he has been well beaten in handicaps before so is not one to get carried away about.
5.15 7f 30yds 0-70 3yo Handicap
LEGAL LEGACY and NORTHERN FLYER came clear of their field here.
LEGAL LEGACY didn’t really get warmed up until late on and looks one to improve again with a step up in trip.
NORTHERN FLYER set the pace and almost pinched this race dropped back in trip. He is going the right way off a fairly lowly mark.
5.45 1m 6f 0-85 Apprentice Handicap
Appearing quickly after his Hamilton win, and stepped up in trip a furlong, BAIZICALLY was once again allowed to dictate the race. It was tougher here as he just held on and the impression is that the trip when he was pressed stretched his stamina to its limit. My impression is that a drop back to a mile and a half wouldn’t do any harm and I don’t think Baizically has stopped winning yet.
The impression is that DOLLY PENROSE finds this trip a minimum to be effective. She tried hard but just failed and I’d be interested if she were moved up to two miles. It’s significant that the first two were well clear of their two opponents.