CHINGACHGOOK (5.45) is only third best in the early tissue for Newcastle's opener but Richard Fahey's colt could be the one to beat.
He was third to Jelmood on his debut and ran a fine race when sent to Lingfield, finishing a close-up fourth to Maverick Officer. Runner-up Ode To Autumn was a wide-margin scorer at Newcastle on Wednesday and Chingachgook probably ran to a mark of around 80, which sets a fair standard in this maiden.
I liked the way he travelled comfortably into the race but was delivered with his challenge up the rails, not the quickest part of the track.
William Haggas saddles hot-pot Completion, third over course and distance 17 days ago. There is a Hugo Palmer newcomer in opposition as well, so the betting should be informative.
Hopefully,Musselburgh will survive a morning inspection and TRESHNISH (2.20) has sound credentials in the 2m handicap hurdle.
Sue Smith's five-year-old is still learning his trade and did well to overcome inexperience to beat Cool Mix in a Newcastle maiden in December.
Treshnish was elevated in grade for a decent novice hurdle at Haydock where the ground was riding very deep. The gelding was no match for favourite Waterlord but he was just behind Warren Greatrex's Mahlervous in third, with 22 lengths back to the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ravensdale in fourth.
Je Suis Charlie has excellent prospects of going one better than his last visit to Musselburgh when nabbed on the run-in by Keith Dalgleish's Uptown Funk.
He didn't always look the most co-operative on the Flat when trained by Michael Bell and cheek-pieces are applied today.
The meeting opens with a 2m 3f handicap hurdle and Haulani, an excellent second to Redicean at Kempton, is very well treated receiving the four-year-old allowance off a fair mark.
He was campaigned around 10 furlongs on the level by Philip Hide so stamina may become an issue if the track is riding soft.
The obvious each-way alternative is SPECTATOR (12.40). Tim Vaughan does well with his runners here and Spectator was a winner over 1m 6f for Andrew Balding.
He ran into two in-form rivals at Wetherby in the shape of William Of Orange and Irish Row, a subsequent dual winner at Doncaster. Spectator's earlier run at Carlisle when chasing home Brian Ellison's odds-on shot Barrys Jack (owned by the same connections as Haulani) came on heavy ground, so he should handle conditions.
- Newcastle 5.45 – Chingachgook (11-4, McBookie)
- Musselburgh 2.20 – Treshnish (7-2, Paddy Power, McBookie, bet365)
- Musselburgh 12.40 – Spectator ew (5-1, Ladbrokes, Coral, bet365)
Johnb's Friday Tips
- Musselburgh 12.40 – Haulani (6-5 NAP
- Lingfield 2.30 – Udontdodou (9-4, P NB
- Chepstow 2.45 – Lerichi Belle (5-2, B
- Dundalk 5.30 – Schindler’s Ark (4-1, P