Musselburgh Racecourse’s Flat season kicks off in style
The 16-fixture season runs until October and boasts prize money in excess of £1.1 million with highlights including the ever popular Stobo Caste Ladies Day and the £100,000 Edinburgh Gin Scottish Sprint Cup meeting, on 2 and 9 June respectively.
In August two Friday meetings – Friday Night at the Races and The Archerfield Cup take centre stage and in September highlights include the Caledonian Cup Raceday and the Supporting Your Services Family Raceday.
For the opening totepool Easter Saturday meeting an impressive 123 entries have been received for the seven races which features total prize money in excess of £200,000.
The feature totepool Queen’s Cup Handicap (3.35pm) has last year’s winner Carbon Dating looking to repeat his success over the one mile 6f challenge and break his duck since the April 2017 outing at the East Lothian course.
Top-rated on 108 is Peter Niven-trained Clever Cookie who made a winning debut in a £3000 National Hunt flat race at Musselburgh in 2012 before progressing to winning the Scottish County Hurdle in 2014 and triumphing in a Group 2 Flat race at York two years ago.
Rated on 105 is Kevin Ryan's Mount Tahan who has won three of his five starts on the all-weather this winter, while Edinburgh-born trainer Karen McLintock has entered Dubawi Fifty which was fourth in last autumn's Cesarewitch at Newmarket.
Time to Study landed last summer's Edinburgh Cup over course and distance and his trainer Mark Johnston has also pencilled in Star Of The East, while Dorset trainer Harry Fry, better known for his jumpers, has one of the likely market principals in the shape of American Gigolo who has won his last three starts at Lingfield, Kempton and Newcastle.
In the £30,000 totescoop6 Borderless Sprint Trophy (2.25pm) the Bryan Smart trained Alpha Delphini and Michael Appelby’s Caspian Prince are the two highest rated entries and are past winners of Musselburgh’s EBF Flying Scotsman Conditions Stakes, staged in the autumn 2017 and 2016 respectively.
A five-day entry of 22 in the £30,000 totesport.com Royal Mile Handicap has Newmarket trained and Group 3 winner Another Batt as top weight, while
William Haggas, last weekend's winner of the Lincoln at Doncaster, is double-handed in another big Saturday handicap with Society Power and Tanseeq.
Musselburgh Racecourse chief executive, Bill Farnsworth, said: “With four of our Easter Saturday races live on ITV4, a £100,000 feature race, two £30,000 supporting races and a £20,000 seven furlong handicap, we are setting the bar high for the rest of our Flat season.
“The track is in great condition, thanks to the excellent efforts of our dedicated ground staff, and we are looking forward to another successful summer season, anchored with the phenomenal success which is Stobo Castle Ladies Day and the Scottish Sprint Cup in June.”
Gates open on Saturday at 11.30am, first race is off at 1.50pm and the last race is at 5.20pm.