Friday 4th May 2012
Musselburgh introduces a new nine furlong race at today’s meeting (Fri 4 May) which has enticed trainers looking ahead to the £50,000 totepool.com Edinburgh Cup meeting next month.
With three year old horses needing three races under their belt to gain a handicap and entry to races worth more than £30,000, Musselburgh boss Bill Farnsworth believes the £12,000 semichem.co.uk Handicap is an ideal prep race for the big fixture on June 2.
“This new race is a good opportunity for three year olds hoping to compete in the Edinburgh Cup and it has attracted some strong entries,” said Farnsworth. “It gives trainers a chance for a run out a Musselburgh and as the horses mature over the next few weeks it’s not a big step up from 9f to the 1m 4f in the Edinburgh Cup.”
Mark Johnston has deliberated hard and plumped for the progressive Prussian in this race. The Middleham trainer said: “Prussian is an improver and I was pleased with his debut run at Lingfield. He ran out a comfortable winner next time out at Kempton and I like this filly and hope he will improve further.”
Prussian will be ridden by Joe Fanning, recently crowned the all weather champion jockey and now a leading contender for the Jockeys Championship on the turf.
Worth considering for the £8,000 Core (Oil and Gas) Ltd Handicap is the ex-Godolphin three year old Borug, now in the hands of rookie trainer James Tate, and who made an eye-catching seasonal reappearance at Windsor.
Borug was slow out of the stalls and suffered traffic problems during the race, before staying on well close to home to finish third behind Moone's My Name, and any improvement on his Windsor running should see Borug playing a leading role here at Musselburgh with champion jockey Paul Hanagan in the saddle.
Front runners have a profitable strike rate at Musselburgh and the pacesetting Celtic Sultan will be hard to peg back in the 7f Dalkin D1 Installer Handicap at 4.00.
Celtic Sultan ran prominently in valuable 7f handicaps when trained by Tom Tate, and now with Paul Midgley the gelding has retained much of his old ability, going down by a hard fought three quarters of a length to Karaka Jack in a competitive handicap at Doncaster a month ago. Micky Fenton, who rode Celtic Sultan in his heyday with the Tate stable, has been booked to ride and Paul Midgley is regularly among the winners at Musselburgh.
Haddington trainer George Foster has found a useful recruit in Hellbender. The six year old has been knocking at the door in each of his recent outings and impressed at Newcastle when he finished runner up to Rise To Glory. Foster has engaged the promising Luke McNiff to partner Hellbender in the Apprentices Handicap which concludes the Musselburgh card and the chestnut deserves a winning turn.
Gates open at noon and first race is at 2pm.