ALAN kicks off the week with five bets from Musselburgh plus a couple from the Wolverhampton all-weather.
Donald McCain can kick the meeting off with a winner courtesy of newcomer CONSTANCIO (12.15). The Authorized gelding has been purchased by the Elite Racing Club since landing a 1m 5f handicap at Navan in June for Jim Bolger and he should be too quick for another Hobbs raider, Kensukes Kingdom, and Tor.
SIMONE is probably the most interesting runner on Musselburgh’s Monday card and this half-sister to the brilliant Simonsig has been found a suitable opening by Lucinda Russell in a very modest novices’ handicap chase. There was plenty of money kicking around for Simone at Kelso but punters got their fingers burnt. This looks a bit weaker and Simone has course form, having been beaten narrowly here over hurdles.
SPIN THE COIN has had a wind op since stopping quickly after hitting the front at Carlisle early last month. With Donald McCain firing in plenty of winners, Spin The Coin is worth chancing against likely favourite Rioja Day. Jim Goldie’s gelding put his best foot forward to score over course and distance last month and Danny McMenamin is full value for his 7lb claim.
Borders trainer Sandy Thomson saddled two winners last week (Geronimo and Dimple) and he has a couple of fancied runners. NENDRUM has course form figures of 3-1-1-9 and may have the legs of Come On Charlie, representing Philip Hobbs and Richard Johnson. The handicapper has dropped Nendrum 3lb on the back of two fairly modest runs and the top weight usually runs into form around this time of the year.
JOHN WILLIAMS is a dual course winner and has prospects in the 2m 4f handicap chase. He ran well for a long way behind Casual Cavalier at Ayr but faded out of contention on the very testing ground.
Wolverhampton 3.45 and 4.15
THE opening sprint handicaps at Wolverhampton could be dominated by two in-form horses in TONI’S A STAR (4.15) and SOCIAL BUTTERFLY (3.45).
Toni’s A Star overcame a sloppy start to score here last time and stall two is perfect if Poppy Bridgewater can get her mount out alertly. Toni’s A Star has won four times over course and distance and remains feasibly weighted. Social Butterfly pipped Toni’s A Star right on the line in mid-November and a 3lb rise is fair.