Tuesday, 4 August 2009

An evening at Musselburgh in late July

MUSSELBURGH – Thursday July 30th

Going – Good (Good To Firm in places)

Despite some rain in Scotland in the preceding days, the ground remained just on the firm side at the free draining Lothians track.

6.10 1m 5f 0-65 Amateur Riders’ Handicap

This was probably not a great event and the standard of jockeyship varied enormously.

HURRICANE THOMAS was settled prominently, led at the two furlong marker and kept on for victory beating two higher weighted opponents. He’s generally proved one paced in his races and the likelihood is that the higher weights slowed the opposition sufficiently. I’d take him on outside this company.
MYSTIFIED has been in solid form recently and I’d seen him run a decent second in a handicap hurdle at Cartmel. He’s now managed five consecutive seconds but it’s hard to carp at his attitude which is better than many at this level. However, his overall record shows he only wins in his turn.
TOSHI has been shrewdly campaigned by Jim Goldie over hurdles and on the flat. He was held up here and his run was too late to trouble the first two. He’s more of a winner than the first two and I’d be more likely to take this one from the race than anything else.
CALL OF DUTY had every chance two out but his rider was comprehensively out ridden in the final two furlongs. There is some evidence than he can see out the extended trip and with more experienced handling would be interesting around the 1m 4f-1m 6f distances.

6.45 5f Class 5 2yo Maiden

The second and third here are exposed as moderate. IVING IT LARGE was able to hold on off a prominent position and will presumably go on to nurseries where he shouldn’t be over-burdened.
PINK LEMONADE has been exposed as moderate in Ireland, so his proximity doesn’t help the form. Similarly DOWER GLEN is well exposed in moderate Northern maiden company.
Mark Johnston’s BAHRAJ proved nothing special and couldn’t hold the principals from two out. A stiffer test might not go amiss.

7.15 5f 0-80 Handicap

There wasn’t a huge amount to choose between these a furlong out and the impression is that they are pretty accurately handicapped. It was probably the extra class of top-weight EFISTORM that told close home. Dropped back to 80 he was able to get a run in this class but a rise will make things a little tougher. He may cope with a 0-85, but generally top-weight in this class is his level.
MISS DAAWE put up a season’s best to push the winner and is a bit lower than her winning mark of last year. She might be worth noting in the near future.
REQUISITE kept on for third and ran to his level.
BLUE TOMATO has run solidly all season but just found they went a little quick. He picked his way through late on for fourth.

7.45 1m 1f Class 6 Selling Stakes

MASTEROFCEREMONIES was slowly away and still adrift of the field four furlongs out. However, P J Macdonald clearly knew what he had underneath him and his patience was rewarded as the gelding picked up nicely in the straight and won a little cosily under driving. He was bought by Paul Murphy for £11,000, so how he will be campaigned is anyone’s guess. He is two from two at Musselburgh.
RED SKIPPER kept on for second if held in the final furlong and PAPA’S PRINCESS raced prominently but was held from two out. Both are 1 from 22 which sums up their credentials.
KEISHA KAYLEIGH had an advantage on the official ratings, but at this level life isn’t always that simple. Her better performances recently have come over a longer trip or with a stiff finish and I’d bear that in mind in future.

8.20 7f 0-70 Handicap

MORROCHIUS has a little more ability than a mark of 51 might suggest. The problem has been prising it out, and he’s fallen from a mark of 70 early last year. He ran on well enough and might be capable of progressing from here now he has got his head in front.
ZABEEL TOWER is now back around the mark from which he won last year and he didn’t do much wrong on this occasion. He was in a rich vein of form last summer and it’s worth bearing in mind that his Course and Distance record is 11132.
KARGAN closed in the latter stages without threatening a win. It’s not untypical of how he has performed in the past. He’s consistent, but that generally leads to him being underpriced.
An 11lb rise for NUFOUDH has probably done for his chances in the near future. He won a poor event last time out, and this tougher class proved a little beyond him.
SANDS OF BARRA is a shadow of the performer he was in 2007. He ran passably well here but didn’t threaten the leaders.
LIBERTY TRAIL was too keen in first time blinkers and though battling hard had given his all by the final furlong. I wouldn’t write him off as he has enough ability if he settles.

8.50 5f 0-65 Handicap

This was a lowly event in terms of ratings, but one or two have been in decent form.
INGLEBY STAR in particular has been running admirably through the summer and he led one out and ran on for victory. With a penalty he ran off 71 here, so it’s likely he’ll be shifted up to 73-74. Sprinters can often continue to improve though, and I wouldn’t count out another win, though he will be taking on stiffer company.
ANGELOFTHENORTH did nothing wrong and pushed the winner all the way. At the lowest handicap level, say 0-55 or 0-60 it might be possible to find a race for her.
PRINCESS CHARLMANE has proved that her pillar to post win in a seller here was no fluke as she has run creditably twice since. She couldn’t hold the front two from one out, but given a free lead has chances in lowly company.
ROCKETBALL needs to be out at the front and couldn’t quite get to Princess Charlmane. His current mark is probably stretching his ability to its limit.
BARLEY BREE hinted at a little ability of her first attempt at handicapping. She wasn’t given a hard time once held and isn’t a total lost cause yet.

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