MUSSELBURGH - Monday June 29th
Going – Good To Firm (Good in places)
With most of the country bathed in sunshine in recent days the east coast of Scotland has struggled a bit to shift the mist and low cloud. There was a hint of mist on Musselburgh Links for this evening meeting, but with very little serious rain about the ground remained on the fast side.
6.55 2m 0-65 Amateur Riders’ Handicap
A race run at a decent pace and, though the winner dictated, the form looks quite solid.
MONTE PATTINO made most of the running. His rider kicked him on entering the straight and that probably made the difference. Coming up the centre of the track he did hang a bit, but kept on gamely and deserved the win. He’ll go up a pound or two for this, but it won’t take him out of this class so another win is possible.
MYSTIFIED plugged on after the winner without quite getting to him up the straight. He’s another in good form and should continue to run well in this class off his lowly mark.
SIR SANDICLIFFE stayed on late under top weight. However, he has done that before and isn’t a prolific winner.
KYBER was given too much to do but he gives the impression of being a bit of a moody character, plenty capable of winning a similar event on his day but needs to be caught right.
7.25 5f 0-65 Handicap
An event where the serious contenders were in the top half of the handicap.
I thought ROCKETBALL might find it tough to dominate form an outside draw. However, he got across toward the stands’ side early on and was always up with the pace. He was under pressure a furlong out but kept on well enough and is in his element on fast ground over this quick five furlongs.
WICKED WILMA is capable on her day and ran a sound race in second. She led or disputed for much of the way but was run out of it in the final half furlong.
THUNDER BAY was denied room when trying to make a run a furlong out. The visor was used for the first time here, but I get the impression it’s the track here that does the trick rather than any headgear. Consistency isn’t this one’s strong point but he now has a win and two places from five efforts over the five furlongs here.
INGLEBY STAR kept on for fourth and is finding his form. It’s significant that he’s dropped a bit in the handicap and is worth noting in similar company.
SPIRIT OF CONISTON runs often and wins occasionally; keeping on for fifth, while TWOSHEETSTOTHE WIND must be covered up and has only one run and it petered on this occasion. Probably one to oppose when at the sharp end of the market.
7.55 5f Class 5 2yo Maiden Auction
Not a great event and the best previous form was enough here with MAL AND DAVE forging ahead close home having twice been a runner-up previously. His attitude can’t be faulted and he will presumably head for early nurseries.
MERCERS ROW looked the winner but was just pipped late on. There should be a similar event on the northern circuit s consolation.
IGNATIEFF has had a few chances but hasn’t got his head in front. He may pick up a small race but needs things to fall his way.
Mark Johnston newcomer LICENCE TO KILL lost his chance through greenness and has much to learn. He was left flat-footed early on and couldn’t get into the race, but his breeding suggests better to come over sprint distances and hopefully he will learn.
8.25 1m 4f 100yds 0-70 Handicap
MOOTED led two out and kept on well enough. This wasn’t a particularly competitive event and it will be tougher next time.
THORNY MANDATE challenged form a furlong out and showed more than in previous efforts which at least confirms well being. He’s won four times in Class 6 and now he has hit form that could be the key.
PIPER’S SONG finished fast but his overall record is not over-inspiring of late.
SOLAS ALAINN seems pretty much ‘tripless’ and having set the pace gave way two out. Hurdling might be a better option in the long term.
8.55 1m 0-65 Handicap
A run-of-the-mill mile event won by SAN SILVESTRO who seems very happy at this track. He won over nine furlongs here the time before last, but then didn’t see out the ten furlongs at Ayr. Not over-raced for a four-year-old, aimed at a mile or a mile and one around here he may well have another race in him.
Irish-trained FORBIDDEN was just held and both he and the third BOLD INDIAN are basically ‘journeymen’ in these events.
9.25 7f 0-55 3yo Handicap
At this level qualification comes by virtue of having run three moderate or poor races and there’s precious little to take forward.
DARK MOMENT was held up from his widest draw and came through to lead close home. He won’t go up much for this and does at least seem to be going the right way.
NATIVE DAME has taken a while to settle since moving from Ireland. Dire opposition and a drop to a mark of 49 helped and she looked the winner until a few yards out.
TRADE PRICE and JOIN UP both recorded personal bests, but ratings of 51 and 49 respectively sum up their respective 'talents’.