Good morning all,
Inside today’s main piece. I have had a look at two of Saturday’s big races at Musselburgh. Plus, I preview today's West Wales National at Ffos Las.
Some For Saturday
The two Saturday races to come under the microscope are at Musselburgh. With both taking place in front of the ITV cameras.
1:50 – Betway Musselburgh Silver Arrow Handicap (Class 3) – 7f
Stone Soldier heads the betting. The 4-year-old has been in excellent form since joining the Archie Watson yard. Winning three of his four starts at Southwell. The last of those wins 30-days ago came after a gelding operation. He’s only 1-11 on turf so at the prices looks worth taking on despite his fibresand improvement.
The one I like is Marshall Dan who won over C&D (soft) last October. He’s ground versatile. Having won on going from soft to good to firm and 7f is his optimum distance. This will be the 6-year-old’s first run since December but he’s gone well fresh in the past. He’s now 5lb higher than when winning over C&D but looks to have good each way claims with Ray Dawson taking off a handy 3lb.
3:00 – Betway Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap (Class 2) – 5f
This looks a cracking sprint handicap and the bookies are going 5/1 the field. The ante post market is headed by Justanotherbottle who overcame soft ground to win the Catterick Dash in October. The 7-year-old will be sharper after a recent prep at Wolverhampton 14-days ago. He's just 2lb higher than for his last win and should go well again.
Just a head behind Justanotherbottle at Catterick was Count D’orsay. He gets a 1lb from that one here so there shouldn’t be much between the pair. However, his best form has come on soft ground and drying ground wouldn’t play to his strengths.
Zarzyni had some good form as a juvenile when trained in Ireland by Michael Halford. The 4-year-old struggled last year but he made a promising start for new trainer David Barron when a close-up 3rd of 8 at Wolverhampton three weeks ago. He will strip fitter than last time and looks on a handy mark.
Jabbarockie, trained by Eric Alston, has come in for support in the ante post market this week and you can see why. The 8-year-old is a previous C&D winner and made all to win on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket last season. He’s now 1lb below his last winning mark and his prominent style of racing is well suited to the track. He could be hard to peg back if he gets a high draw.
Wednesday’s selection couldn’t match Tuesday’s success. However, another of my other Southwell fancies Padstow Harbour went in at a generous 11/1.
Thursday’s best race is at Ffos Las with latest running of the West Wales National (4:37). The going is being described as good to soft. I have several of interest at the Welsh track.
4:37 – Potters Canter Carpet West Wales National Handicap Chase (Class 3) – 3m 4f
Volcano has been in good form this winter and put in a career best effort when winning at Warwick 18-days ago. The 7-year-old proved his stamina when winning over 3m 5f and remains unexposed over marathon distances. Up 7lb, which demands more improvement, but he could be capable of defying his rise in the ratings.
Sizing At Midnight won here over 3m in the autumn and looked sure to play a part in the finish when falling three out in Badger Beers Silver Trophy at Wincanton. Two subsequent runs at Wincanton on heavy and at the Cheltenham Festival can be excused. No issues with the going and if he stays 3m 4f won’t be far away.
Eclair Mag won on his first start in Britain when winning at Market Rasen (heavy) in January. The 7-year-old bettered that performance when runner-up at Carlisle 38-days ago. Quicker ground and this his first start beyond 3m 2f but the 7-year-old looks progressive and has each way claims.
Skipthecuddles is down to a competitive mark. However. he’s inconsistent and hasn’t built on the promise of his 3rd of 10 at Newbury three starts back.
Verdict: Éclair Mag has the look of an improver, if he handles today’s quicker going. Sizing At Midnight will like the ground but has stamina to prove. The inform Volcano has the most solid claims and is the one to beat.
Two more from Ffos Las
5:10 – Lady Kk was a solid 3rd of 10 at Sandown last time out. The mare gets the first-time tongue tie today and given she’s only had two starts in handicap company could be open to a bit more improvement.
5:42 – I like the claims of the Kerry Lee trained Do It For Thy Sen. The 7-year-old has to yet to taste success after ten starts under rules. However, he was only beaten a neck here over 2m 5f in November and last time ran better than his final position of fourth suggests at Leicester. Quicker ground is bit of an unknown (won a point on good to soft) but he can go close if not inconvenienced by it.
4:37 – Volcano – 4/1 – Gen
Good luck with your Thursday bets.
John Burke is the tipster behind the long standing Victor Value service you can join him here – https://victorvalue.uk