Officer Drivel is expected to come on for his recent reappearance at Plumpton. That effort came just three weeks ago but having gone well in the mud before, conditions should be set fair for this five year old son of Captain Rio. Sam Twiston Davies has been called up to ride and that is noteworthy as he has won or been placed on him in two of their last three outings together.
Cloonacool got the better of the selection in that last race and he will have his fair share of supporters on that basis. He is now attempting to give the selection even more weight and that may just prove a step too far. Cloonacool clouted quite a few hurdles last month at Plumpton and he will need to improve his jumping if he wants to have a say in the finish. Goohar seems to be coming to himself just at the right time and he too ought to be fine with the underfoot conditions. Richard Johnson has been claimed by Philip Hobbs to ride Ink Master but Tom O’Brien is a more than capable deputy and the duo can make the frame.
Two miles looks to be as far as Officer Drivel wants to go but Jim Best has his stable in good form and it would not be the biggest of surprises if he managed to put in another bold effort.
OFFICER DRIVEL (WIN)
Lightning Rod certainly knows where the winning post in having amassed nine wins during his career so far. His last three successes have all come at Wetherby, but he should be fully fit now and Harry Bannister who gets on so well with him is still able to claim three pounds. Despite being an eleven year old, he is still capable of performing well at this level and he has to command respect with conditions he ought to enjoy.
Blades Lad won over this course and distance back in November but he has subsequently flopped when upped in grade at Ascot last time. He was no match for the likes of Hollywoodien and company but a return to this track is almost certainly in his favour and he heads the list of dangers. Rockawango is starting to look dangerously well handicapped of late and James Ewart has booked the talented Lucy Alexander to ride. The combination look a bigger threat than top weight Jack Steel.
Lightning Rod is Mick Easterby’s only runner at Musselburgh this afternoon. It is unlikely that he would be bringing him all the way up here if he did not hold a solid chance and he should go close.
LIGHTNING ROD (E/W if 9/2+)
Mo Chailin was only beaten a length on her first start under rules when making her racecourse debut at Catterick. The front pair came some six lengths clear from the remainder of their rivals, indicating that the form could turn out to be quite useful. Donald McCain has sent out seven winners within the last month so this progressive daughter of Milan has to be high on any shortlist.
Kahaleesi is a well bred newcomer from the yard of Philip Hobbs. The trainer can certainly get them ready for battle at the first time of asking and there is no doubt that the four year old rates as a massive threat especially with Richard Johnson in the saddle. Miss Spent is related to plenty of winners and Lucy Wadham looks to have an interesting recruit here. If fully wound up then she too looks to have live each way claims.
Mo Chailin is expected to come on in leaps and bounds for that first outing and if coping within the testing conditions then she looks the one that they all have to beat.
MO CHAILIN (WIN)