Gemologist is likely to start as favourite for this mares contest having been beaten into third on her last two outings and with jockey, Conner McCann, taking 10lbs off her back too. She finished second behind Sarvi in this race last year and carries less weight than she did that day but, as she is still yet to win, I’m happy to take her on. Sarvi has raced a lot since her win in this race last year and the return to two miles is a positive in my eyes. She also has the blinkers back on today which she wore to success for the first time on that occasion. She has failed to win off a mark this high in the past though and that makes her vulnerable for win purposes.
Smart Lass is another who is yet to claim a victory over obstacles, however, she has run very well at this track and trip finishing a runner up twice here and with the reintroduction of cheek-pieces I am siding with her to take this very intriguing mares contest.
SMART LASS (WIN)
This race is likely to be run at a decent pace as several of these horses like to go forward. Dragoon Springs is one that seemed to enjoy more prominent tactics last time out and will likely want to be up there again with Bunny Boru and Jappeloup who also prefer a forward position. He is likely to start as favourite for this event, stepping up in distance, and that should suit him and with Nick Slatter taking off 5lbs its easy to see why he will be well fancied.
Magnificent Ben was sent off favourite on his last run in May after a good run at Southwell but was pulled up on that occasion and has since moved stables and though his point win was on slow ground, I would oppose him until he shows some better form under rules.
Timely Gift is a horse that is unbelievably overpriced at the time of writing. He is likely to get a good pace to aim at, he will love the track, trip and will undoubtedly enjoy the slow ground that will be on offer today. He has won off a similar mark in the past and will be very hard to keep out of the frame if he puts his best foot forward in today’s event.
TIMELY GIFT (E/W)
Two horses will attempt to go for a hat-trick in this race. Tokaramore is the only one in the field to have won at Musselburgh and has won off a higher mark in the past than the mark she competes from today. She hasn’t always convinced that she is as good at three miles as she is at two and a half miles though and for this reason, I would go against her. Rapid Raider goes for the in-form Lucinda Russell team and attempts three miles for the first time under rules today. He is still lightly raced for his age and is open to plenty of improvement at this new trip. I would fully expect him to take another step forward and take this contest today.
Raecius Felix is another horse who could take advantage if the market leaders fail to deliver today but his best form has also come over a shorter distance and although he is well handicapped, I would think that Rebecca Menzies’ horse will have to wait a bit longer to get back in the winners enclosure.
RAPID RAIDER (WIN)
written by Tom Bates