Our racing expert marks your card for Monday's jumps action at Musselburgh.
Rose Dobbin’s SOME REIGN is strongly fancied to shrug off a penalty in the 2m3f “national hunt” novices’ hurdle on the card. The six-year-old picked that up for beating a subsequent winner in a Kelso maiden last time and that was continuing the progress he had shown in bumpers last season and on his hurdles debut in October, when he only found Beyond The Clouds (a winner again since and now 4-5 under Rules) too good. He looks a really nice prospect who could take his connections to some pretty high-profile races, and he should be far too good for today’s nine rivals.
ENEKO was bought for £40,000 after winning on the Flat in France and that looks money well spent based on his three British starts so far. He gave his connections an immediate return when winning a juvenile at Perth on his stable debut in September and he was taking on more than he can chew at this stage of his career when soundly beaten in Listed company on his next start. On his most recent outing at Hexham, he looked the most likely winner turning in only for him to tire – a strong headwind didn’t help him in that respect – and get headed at the last by Cornerstone Lad, who was getting 7lb.
That’s solid juvenile form and he might be able to win another one of those under a penalty, but instead his trainer Keith Dalgleish is throwing him into handicap company this afternoon and making use of the fact he gets a hefty three-year-old allowance from his older rivals. It’s quite a big ask given his relative inexpensive, but he’s clearly going the right way and this is the first time he’s had proper good ground in this country. Whilst he has shown he handles softer conditions, his French win came on good to firm and today’s surface will help bring his Flat speed into play. He also has the services of Brian Hughes.
There is not a great deal of solid recent form on offer in the closing 2m handicap hurdle and it looks a good opportunity for John Quinn’s RAISED ON GRAZEON to get off the mark after a string of creditable efforts in bumpers and maidens. The six-year-old mare has now finished second four times, including on her hurdles debut at Market Rasen in October (2m4f), and whilst beaten a long way into third when returned to that track for her next outing, she ran keen and wasn’t helped by the slow early gallop of that contest.
As handicaps tend to be run at a faster pace, this race should play more to her strengths and her opening mark of 102 could prove very generous if we take her bumper form literally. The pick of this was her second a little over a length behind Sam Spinner at Catterick in February, with the winner going on to much better things and getting hiked up to a mark of 155 after hacking up in a Haydock Grade 3. I doubt the selection will ever reach those heights, but she has to be of interest in this modest class 4 contest with Brian Hughes booked.
All odds were correct at time of posting.