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Musselburgh Trials Weekend Preview

Musselburgh Trials Weekend Preview

It is Musselburgh's biggest meeting of the year this weekend when they host their Scottish Trials fixture. On Saturday there are seven races from 12.57pm-4.19pm, with the feature contest being the Edinburgh National Handicap Chase at 3.45. A day later, there are seven races from 1pm-4.20pm, with the highlight being the Scottish Triumph Hurdle at 1.32pm and the Racing Post previews the best of the two days racing action.



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SATURDAY

12.57 - bet365 Frodon Novices' Chase (2m4½f)

There are just four runners for the opening race on Saturday as the novice chasers are in action. Only Roi De Dubai has an entry for the Cheltenham Festival and he is a big price for the National Hunt Chase.

Paul Nicholls is represented in this contest by Friend Or Foe. He made a winning start at Uttoxeter (2m), but then had to settle for third place of five on his latest effort at Warwick (2m) back in September.

PAY THE PIPER won three of his four races over hurdles last season. He has also been very consistent since switching to fences.

He came close to following up from his Newcastle success when he finished second of four at Wetherby last time out, going down by a neck. He could prove to be the one they all have to beat.

Selection: Pay The Piper

Next Best: Friend Or Foe


1.29 - bet365 Scottish Stayers' Novices' Hurdle (3m)

On paper, this looks a match-up between BARDENSTOWN LAD and Where It All Began. The former prevailed for the third time over hurdles when successful at Cheltenham (3m) and he can enhance his reputation here ahead of the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

Where It All Began will be a good sparring partner for John McDonnell's runner. He broke his maiden at Tramore (2m5½f) on heavy ground last month. Gordon Elliott has a strong stable of novice hurdlers, so another big run can be expected from this horse.

Selection: Bardenstown Lad

Next Best: Where It All Began


2.05 - bet365 Auld Yin Conditional Jockeys' Veterans' Handicap Chase (2m6f)

Three-time winning chaser Glen Forsa has taken a tumble down the ratings this season, as he has failed to hit the frame in his three outings. He is now down to a mark of 129, which gives him a great chance of being competitive.

A wind op back in August seems to have helped CALIPSO COLLONGES bounce back to his best. He is just 2lb higher than his last winning mark here, and with the capable Lewis Stones taking 6lb off his back, he is well in at the weights for this veterans' handicap.

Selection: Calipso Collonges

Next Best: Glen Forsa

2.40 - bet365 Scottish County Handicap Hurdle (1m7½f)

Highly Prized raced at a decent level over hurdles last season. He prevailed four times over sticks. He is now back over hurdles after one run in a chase back in May at Uttoxeter (2m). Although he is off top weight here, he has the class to be in the mix.

SOCIALIST AGENDA is bidding to follow up from a maiden hurdles success at Catterick (1m7½f). This horse remains unexposed, and off what looks a lenient opening handicap mark, he could be set to get his nose in front again.

Selection: Socialist Agenda

Next Best: Highly Prized


3.10 - bet365 Handicap Hurdle (1m7½f)

The silks of the Musselburgh Lunch Club are carried by two horses in this race, and they may be set to battle it out between them.

Gemologist has come so close to success at this track but is still a maiden. He has finished second at this course seven times and it may be one of the minor honours he has to settle for once again.

SMART LASS has won at this course on the Flat, but she is bidding for her first victory over hurdles. She has shown enough to suggest her maiden success in this code won't be far away.

Ian Jardine's mare will be receiving weight off all but one rival, so this looks a great opportunity for her.

Selection: Smart Lass

Next Best: Gemologist


3.45 - bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase (3m7½f)

The feature race on day one of the Musselburgh Scottish Trials Weekend is the Edinburgh National and this will be a major test of stamina.

Mighty Thunder won this race last season and then went on to score in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr. He is now much higher in the weights than 12 months ago, but he must be respected on this return to Musselburgh.

The highest rated horse in this field is HIGHLAND HUNTER from Paul Nicholls' yard. The second season chaser finished runner-up in the Welsh Grand National last time out.

The nine-year-old remains open to improvement in these staying chases. He is the one to beat.

Selection: Highland Hunter

Next Best: Mighty Thunder

4.19 - bet365 Scottish Open Hunters' Chase (3m2½f)

Former Henry De Bromhead raider Myth Buster is back under Rules after a couple of point-to-point appearances. He was a winner at Thurles (2m6f) last season and should be in the mix in this hunters' chase.

SOLIDER OF LOVE has failed to finish on his last three outings, one of which was the Scottish Grand National. This is a good chance for him to returning to winning ways.

Selection: Solider Of Love

Next Best: Myth Buster


SUNDAY

1.00 - bet365 Novices' Handicap Chase (2m4½f)

Rafferty picked up his second win over fences when he scored at Southwell (2m4½) last month. The novice chaser appears to be improving with every chase appearance. Another big run can be expected.

With two wins and a second-place finish over this C&D, BROADWAY JOE does not need to prove himself at this course. Expect to see him tucked away in the early stages before making a winning move at the business end of the race.

Selection: Broadway Joe

Next Best: Rafferty


1.32 - bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle (1m7½f)

A number of these runners have an entry in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next month. This race will allow us to learn much more about the novice hurdlers.

Innatendue is an interesting French recruit to John McConnell's yard. She was a winner in a bumper at Durtal on her last outing. She demands a lot of respect of her British debut.

INCA PRINCE is a C&D winner who is looking to complete a hat-trick on the course for Ruth Jefferson. This improving hurdler could prove difficult to beat.

Selection: Inca Prince

Next Best: Innatendue


2.05 - bet365 Scottish Supreme Novices' Hurdle (1m7½f)

The Scottish Supreme Novices' Hurdle has attracted a strong field, with some novices who have a great deal of potential.

Since Day One comes into this race looking to extend his winning run to four races. This is obviously a step up in class bur he deserves his shot at it.

With three wins from six starts, RESTANDBETHANKFUL has an excellent strike-rate over hurdles. His latest success came at Huntingdon (2m) back in December.

He has had a few weeks off now and should return fresh for this assignment. More success can arrive for Olly Murphy's gelding.

Selection: Restandbethankful

Next Best: Since Day One

2.40 - Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle (3m)

Wakool began the campaign with back-to-back victories over this C&D. He then travelled across to Ayr, prevailing over their extended 3m trip.

The handicapper has reacted to his hat-trick success by raising him 9lb in the weights. Although that makes things much tougher, he should still in contention here.

Martin Keighley's runner BRORSON has an entry in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle. He is in good form himself following wins at Catterick and Southwell respectively. The six-year-old can complete his hat-trick before heading to the Festival in March.

Selection: Brorson

Next Best: Wakool


3.15 - bet365 Scottish Champion Handicap Chase (2m)

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls is represented in the Scottish Champion Handicap Chase by Glajou. He has yet to build upon his maiden chase success at Southwell (2m) but he is now 1lb lower in the ratings than that victory in December 2020.

SARASOTA STAR has been unlucky not to score on his last two outings. He has finished a close second, including on his latest start at Taunton (2m).

Martin Keighley's runner is very consistent and with another solid performance, he may land the top prize this time.

Selection: Sarasota Star

Next Best: Glajou


3.50 - bet365 Handicap Chase (3m)

Magna Sam scored for the second time in his career over fences over this C&D back in December. He was 41 lengths ahead of the rest of the field when he crossed the line at the Scottish course. It's unlikely he will have it his own way this time, but he is a serious player.

POOKIE PEKAN was also a winner over this C&D on his latest appearance. He made all in the race. Stuart Coltherd is likely to set the pace again and he may not be passed.

Selection: Pookie Pekan

Next Best: Magna Sam

4.20 - bet365 Handicap Hurdle (2m4f)

Lucinda Russell is represented in the final race on Scottish Trials Weekend by Diamond State. This gelding knows this course well as all three appearances have come here this season. He scored over this C&D two runs back and another big run can be expected.

ZAFAR was ahead of Diamond State when he prevailed over this C&D last month. He has gone up 3lb for the success, but Abbie McCain can claim 5lb so he can defy that rise.

Selection: Zafar

Next Best: Diamond State


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