Our racing expert marks your card for Friday's action at Musselburgh.
David O’Meara’s Trading Point will be all the rage for the 1m208y handicap at Musselburgh having been a ready winner at Beverley last week on his first start for the stable. The four-year-old is well in under a 6lb penalty and could kick in now and fulfil the promise he showed at two. However, he does have 10st 4lb to carry and is giving weight away all round to his rivals, which include Simon Crisford’s AL OZZDI.
The only three-year-old in the line up, he is making his handicap debut here off a mark of 74 and is getting a whopping 24lb from the O’Meara runner. Even that won’t be enough if he’s not straight enough on his return and the market should prove a good guide in that respect. But I’m still going to put him up here as he’s potentially thrown in on his defeat of Tadleel at Brighton last August, with that horse going close in a hot Newmarket nursery on his next outing and now being rated 89.
The selection has also been gelded since last seen and is a rare runner for Crisford at a track, where he is 1-3, while the booking of Paul Hanagan (5-23 on the stable runners) also catches the eye.
William Haggas’ runners north of the border are always worth a close look and if you’d backed all his runners here over the past five seasons you would have landed on 25 winners at a strike rate of 32%, with a £1 level-stakes profit of £12.60 to show for it. That suggests most of his winners are fairly short prices and I’m not expecting bookmakers to be overly generous about his MOSALIM, who contests the 7f handicap, but he really should have the measure of today’s seven rivals.
He’s by far the least exposed of these after just three starts and has clearly done well from two to three, having has a gelding operation in the interim, judging by the way he dispatched his rivals on his reappearance at Chelmsford earlier this month. Well supported beforehand, he picked up nicely on the home turn and won with something to spare. While he appeared to carry his head a shade high, I’m inclined to blame that on greenness and the experience should have done him the power of good.
Certainly, an opening handicap mark of 81 shouldn’t be beyond him and his shrewd handler looks to have found him another winning opportunity.
Elsewhere on the card it’s hard to resist throwing some loose change at course specialist ROYAL BRAVE in his bid for back-to-back wins in the 5f handicap. While the now seven-year-old has won elsewhere, he goes particularly well at this track, with three victories in total and umpteen places. He’s 5lb higher than 12 months ago and has top weight to carry, but he’s won off a similar mark to today’s and will appreciate dropping back into class 4 company having punched above his weight in a class 2 conditions stakes here last time.
That was likely to put him right for today’s assignment and I fancy he can give likely favourite Lydiate Lady, who has won five from seven but is now on a career-high mark, something to think about. At 11/1, we can also back him each-way.
All odds were correct at time of posting.