MUSSELBURGH – Friday August 9th
Going – Good (Good to Firm in places)
2.00 7f Watermans Nursery Handicap (62-78)
Upped two furlongs, SANDSMAN’S GIRL won this very nicely. She was covered up early, racing rather keenly, but moved into contention two out and went past the leader from one out. It’s worth noting that they did go rather slowly and the form isn’t guaranteed to work out.
SPLIT ROCK set the pace, upped the tempo in the straight only to be outpointed form the furlong pole by the winner. He has a whole line of places but he has never raced more than five opponents, largely being tapped for pace in the closing stages. He won first time up at Southwell on a surface which might see him to best advantage.
Of the others IMSHIVALLA pulled hard while held up in the rear and wasn’t seen to best advantage. I suspect she might prove better over six furlongs at this stage.
2.30 5f British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (2yo) (Class 3)
A disappointing turn out of only four for an £8,000 prize. It must be galling for the course to find all races having single figure fields on a card with decent prize money up for grabs.
VIVA VERGLAS showed plenty of early pace and kept going in fine style to win here. He won a six runner nursery at York last time and continues on the upgrade.
BACK LANE matched the leader for four furlongs but was held from the furlong pole. He has enough pace to suggest a mark of 85 may not be too harsh in a sprint nursery.
REBEL CODE tried to match the first two but was struggling two out. He was well held at Lingfield first time and needs sights lowered.
MICK’S YER MAN, off the track since winning at Musselburgh season opener meeting, was taken off his feet right from the start and never got anywhere near the others. He presumably needs soft ground, though might have been expected to be closer.
3.00 1m 6f Archerfield Cup Handicap (79-97)
PARTY LINE, visored for the first time, challenged two furlongs out and stuck on well from that point. She’s a tough mare having run at Catterick three days previously . She hit form about this time last year, has won off a higher mark than the 84 she ran off here and may add to this £16,000 prize.
TROPICAL BEAT stayed on from the rear to take second but never got to the winner. This was a good effort on seasonal debut, though he ran off a career high mark here.
Dual purpose veteran NOBLE ALAN tried to stretch them in the straight but was under the pump two out and couldn’t raise his game. He stays well and is honest, but lacks an extra gear in a finish.
JONNY DELTA was keen early on and was not suited by the steady pace. He kept on through the field for fourth and needs a true run race.
3.30 7f Nairns Oatcakes Handicap (72-92)
As has been the way for much of the season those running close to the pace. Coming off the back of a good second at Goodwood, ALEJANDRO hit the front two out and stayed on from that point to win by a couple of lengths. The race was run to suit but this one has the ability to make use of his chances.
FROG HOLLOW was drawn wide and had to be dropped in early to get some cover. He made an effort three out but had a fair bit to and could only stay on for a never nearer second. He certainly wasn’t favoured by the draw on this track and the effort may be better than it first looks.
SILVER RIME ran a creditable race upped a couple of grades. He chased the leader honestly enough in the final quarter of a mile and remains one to keep an eye on if eased in class once again.
POWERFUL PRESENCE shared the pace with Alejandro but could only find the one speed once passed two out.
4.00 1m Arthritis Research UK Handicap (45-68)
RALPHY BOY made most of the running to hold off his only serious challenger BORDER BANDIT at any time in the race. The first pulled clear and it was two horse race from two out. The race was run to suit the pair and a mainly ordinary followed at a respectable distance.
The favourite PUSH ME reared and lost lengths at the start. Although getting back to her field she was then forced wide on the bend. From that point it was a losing battle, but she is capable of much better is generally a consistent sort who can be forgiven this lapse.
4.30 1m 4f 100yds Daikin Climate Control Handicap (45-71)
A messy race, with horses weaving back and forth in the final two furlongs. VITTACHI just got up on the line to beat GEANIE MAC who looked the winner 100 yards out. Another exposed performer in GRAND DIAMOND kept on for third.
Hat-trick seeker PEARL SPICE, who had them strung out like washing over a longer trip at Nottingham last week, had to work hard to get near the front. He was outpaced in the straight but stuck on again late under pressure. He probably wasn’t seen at his best over this shorter trip.
5.00 2m Thomson Travel Amateur Riders’ Handicap (53-67)
GOLDEN FUTURE had the run of the race here and got revenge for his defeat by Gucci D’Oro last Friday. Jamie Hamilton outrode his opponents in this race.
Alex Ferguson looked to caught napping somewhat on GUCCI D’ORO. He gave the leader a similar amount of rope to last week but Golden Future had an easy lead here and the runner-up couldn’t make up five lengths in two furlongs. He wasn’t helped by LA BACOUETTEUSE weaving about, but that didn’t affect the result. The latter put it to the winner but weakened approaching the furlong pole.
BOLLIN BOB was beaten three furlongs from home.