MUSSELBURGH racegoers are off to a flier with free entry and they should be feeling even more pleased with themselves after the opening race.
POPERINGHE GINGER is trading at short odds to land the 2m 4f mares’ hurdle. Graeme McPherson has sent her north following a close second to Dan Skelton’s Etamine Du Cochet at Huntingdon last month, clearly appreciating the good ground she is likely to encounter this afternoon.
SHAIYZAR meets three rivals in the 3m novices’ handicap chase and a repeat of his course and distance third to Attention Please in early December would see him go close. There are no stamina issues judged on his subsequent second at Catterick over 3m 2f.
FIELD EXHIBITION tries three miles for the first time but a chance is taken on her stamina holding out in this three-runner affair. She was a beaten favourite at Ludlow at the end of January, finding Venetia Williams’ Longhousesignora too good in the closing stages. Field Exhibition travelled up strongly and can take a 4lb rise in her stride.
QAWAMEES, formerly with Ed Dunlop, made a pleasing debut for Mick Easterby at Wetherby in early January, filling third spot behind Nicky Henderson’s Lisheen Castle (ran poorly at Market Rasen last week) and The Knot Is Tied. Qawamees seemed to get bogged down in the Newcastle mud next time and he should make a bold bid returned to this sounder surface.
COOL VALLEY is fairly consistent at this level and Willie Young’s gelding runs the track well enough to think his chance has arrived in this four-runner handicap chase. Cheek-pieces are applied for the first time.
TELSON BARLEY (4.55) can bookend the card for the McPherson yard in a tricky five-runner handicap hurdle. The gelding is stepped up to three miles which has to be of some concern as his latest third to in-form Silver Quay at Taunton came over 2m 3f. That was a better class race and he may have too much speed for Uttoxeter winner Oliver’s Island and Midnight Queen.
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