MUSSELBURGH – Friday August 1st 2014
Going – Good to Firm
The promised rain did materialise in East Lothian and Musselburgh’s second evening meeting of the season took place on quick ground. A fair crowd in for Carnival night, the ears being tested by Thommo at one end of the enclosures and the DJ at the other end!
6.10 1m 5f Rebecca Wilson Hen Party Amateur Riders’ Handicap(49-67)
A run of the mill event, but won by a very interesting sort in the lightly-raced Alan Swinbank gelding GIOVANNI JACK. He’s a nice strong sort who looks all over a jumper, a factor that put me off him tweeted paddock picks, but I’d be really surprised if he can’t go to make a mark over the winter. (He has since run a close fourth in a more competitive event at Carlisle, looking like a stayer)
Always travelling comfortably, Giovanni Jack took over two out and race was comfortably in safe keeping by the furlong pole.
Megan Nicholls flew up for this ride and had a flight booked for 7.30 back to Bristol but, with taxi waiting, she had time for a quick interview with Derek Thompson. Her horse to follow from her father’s yard is SAPHIR DU RHEU who is reported as doing very well over the summer.
The remainder finished in a bunch led by GEANIE MAC, a mare who often runs passably well but only has a single win to her credit.
Veteran GRAND DIAMOND kept on through the field in his customary style without ever threatening. Often thereabouts but another who is not diamond betting material.
GOLDEN FUTURE kept on into fourth place, while DUKE OF YORKSHIRE faded in the final three furlongs having raced prominently and is probably better at a stiffer track. Jockey William Easterby confirmed that the ground was ‘on the quick side’.
6.45 5f Wilkinson and Associates Nursery Handicap (49-62)
A very moderate contest but one or two at least showed a glimmer of speed.
BOWSON FRED found this company a good deal easier than that he had encountered at York. He raced prominently and asserted in the final furlong. He is half-brother to a couple of winning sprinters and may pick up another handicap in the coming weeks.
WESTHOUGHTON stayed on in the latter stages to take second place.
PENALTY SCORER showed decent speed but was run out of it in the closing stages. She subsequently ran a fair second over an extra furlong at Hamilton the next evening and there should be a small contest for her in the north.
PICKLE LILLY PEARL, not one who impressed in the paddock, showed up for a long way but faded in the final furlong.
7.20 1m 1f PMD Ltd Handicap (55-70)
The seven runners know their way around a racecourse, with 540 runs between them before this race, yielding 44 wins and 92 places.
CAMEROONEY retains enthusiasm and from at the age of 11. He’s difficult to pass when in the mood and, having set the pace under claimer Jordan Nason, he found plenty when asked in the latter stages. He’s now 3 wins form 5 races at Musselburgh and won off his highest mark since April 2012 here.
ELLAAL has been kept busy this year and run pretty consistently. He pestered the leader from two out but was held close home.
CALL OF DUTY runs an honest race and has not been beaten far in any of his turf races since joining Dianne Sayer. He kept on but was held in the final furlong and a stiffer track is probably best these days.
JANAAB is a maiden who recently came over from France and has shown a degree of promise. He chased the leader but was held in the final furlong. There should be a similar race for him with more UK race time under his belt.
DHAULAR DHAR couldn’t get to grips with the leader from two out. Though putting in a number of sound performances of late, he last won in 2011.
ROYAL STRAIGHT and OUTLAW TORN didn’t get in a blow.
7.50 5f Mabanaft Maba-Dash Handicap (74-86)
ALGAR LAD has crept steadily up the handicap of late but was rewarded for consistency. He hit the front over a furlong out and only just held on, but his jockey confirmed the impression that he had idled in front. There may be more to come.
BUNCE performed admirably on ground possibly a little on the quick side. Driven to challenge in the final furlong he was closing and only just touched off.
RED LADY ran a cracker off bottom weight. She was just held after putting in a sustained challenge in the closing stages. Dropped in class she should be capable of winning a sprint handicap in the coming weeks.
ALASKAN BULLET made an effort on the outside over a furlong out but couldn’t sustain the challenge.
8.20 5f Wilkinson & Associates Handicap (45-61)
A moderate event won in encouraging style by SCRELINE, who is lightly raced compared to others at this level. He took it up inside the final furlong and ran on well. He reported as unsuited by the fast going when disappointing at Leicester, but maybe the linksland turf provides more of a cushion.
TADALAVIL ran to his best recent form in second place.
PAVERS STAR won a similar race here in May 2013 but, though running well on occasion, hasn’t won since. He led until headed inside the final furlong.
MANDY LAYLA looked to have good opportunity to follow up her Hamilton win and looked very well, but was held from the furlong pole.
8.50 7f 30yds Thomson Anniversary Handicap (Betfair Mile Series Qualifier) (56-75)
A qualifier for the series which has its finale at Ayr on September 30th.
The leaders went too quick and the winner came from well off the pace.
STRONG MAN was under the pump and going nowhere over two out, but the rest came back to him and he came through to win a shade cosily. A decent effort off a break but the race went his way.
SMART ALEC did best of those up with the pace and arguably achieved the most on the day. He led inside the final furlong but was denied in the final 50 yards. He has not had much racing and may have performed better than the bare result suggests.
OPT OUT made progress on the outside from three furlongs out and kept on to finish a close third. This was only his second attempt over seven furlongs and he saw out the trip well enough.
MOWHOOB and SNOW BAY contested the strong pace but faded in the latter stages.
FUNDING DEFICIT ran a fair race in fourth having chased the leaders, but he hasn’t made a habit of winning in 20 races.