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Queen's Cup Day Betting Tips - Musselburgh

Queen's Cup Day Betting Tips - Musselburgh

Flat racing returns for a new season at Musselburgh on Saturday afternoon, with the course hosting the Scottish Sprint Cup and Queen's Cup on their card. It promises to be a competitive afternoon at the East Lothian venue and the Racing Post brings you their betting tips and selections to mark your card for all Saturday's Musselburgh action (1.20pm-4.46pm; seven races).



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1.20 - Betway EBF Novice Stakes (5f)

A quartet of two-year-old newcomers on their first trip to the racecourse, ensuring market guidance will be a valuable tool for assessing this race. On paper both The Gatekeeper and KHUNAN stand out. The former cost £60,000 and represents a Mark Johnston team already going along nicely in this new term, but the son of Excelebration may be better served over further before too long.

That's enough to sway the nod to Richard Fahey's Twilight Son colt Khunan, very much bred for speed and also representing a trainer going well. He might be the answer today.

Any market support for Atomic Force would need noting too, as Kevin Ryan's first-timers are often ready to go, while Littletimyhoulihan is another bred for speed and should relish this opening challenge.

Selection: Khunan

Next Best: The Gatekeeper

 

1.50 - Betway Musselburgh Silver Arrow Handicap (7f)

An open contest over the 7f here and one in which it could be a good time to chance former C&D winner THREE SAINTS BAY starting out for new trainer Liam Bailey.

The six-time winner couldn't add to his tally in the disjointed 2020 season, though his penultimate run over this C&D (soft) in October was a reminder that he still has the ability to land a prize or two.

He went close in this very contest in 2019 after a 169-day layoff, while he also won on his seasonal comeback in 2018, so catching him fresh can be a positive. He's rated 7lb lower than when second in this two years ago and can be a player at a solid price on first start for his new handler.

Stone Soldier has won 3-4 starts on Southwell's all-weather surface since making the move to Archie Watson, he's a solid contender back on turf if taking that level of form across with him, while the booking of Hollie Doyle suggests Molls Memory should be ready to go on her return too.

Second choice however is reserved for Marshal Dan. Heather Main's charge goes well fresh, taking silver medals on reappearance in 2019 and 2020, and boasts an excellent strike-rate on grass (6-19), winning three-from-five on turf in 2020.

One of those wins was the race Three Saints Bay was second in back in October and, despite being 4lb higher now, Marshal Dan is expected to lay down a strong challenge again with quicker ground conditions no concern.

Selection: Three Saints Bay

Next Best: Marshal Dan

2.25 - Betway Royal Mile Handicap (1m)

Mark Johnston has a strong hand here with top-weight Naamoos joined by the more appealing FOREST FALCON.

The former scored at Beverley (7½f, good to firm) in a novice contest in September on his second run and appeared not to relish slow ground conditions on third and final start in a Listed mile race at Pontefract in October. He's sure to be capable of better this season, however.

So, too, is Forest Falcon and the son of Raven's Pass is preferred here with Franny Norton on board. He twice shaped with promise in novice races at Haydock (soft) and Sandown (good to firm) over 7f last summer before opening his account in fine style over this distance at Yarmouth in September, cruising home nine-lengths clear.

That form isn't the strongest but it was a striking display and he's surely going to be a promising three-year-old in these familiar colours for the Middleham team.

Tornadic is unfortunate not to be 3-3 for trainer Eve Johnston-Houghton, going down narrowly on the all-weather at Kempton in October under a penalty after wins at Lingfield (7f, AW) and Sandown (1m, good).

He's another likely improver and joins gelded Colonel Faulkner for Archie Watson on the shortlist. The last-named won an all-weather maiden in France in December and has scope for better.

Selection: Forest Falcon

Next Best: Tornadic

 

3.00 - Betway Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap (5f)

The Scottish Sprint Cup looks as wide open in the betting as befits such a contest and cases can be made for plenty of these. None perhaps more so than Eric Alston's runner JABBAROCKIE, who should be ready to roll on his comeback.

That was certainly the case for him last season when he reappeared with a career-best at Newmarket (5f, good) in June to score off a mark of 94. He proved consistent thereafter, including in some big-field, valuable handicaps; and will be at home on the forecast ground here.

As a result of going 0-5 following that Newmarket win last term, he has now dipped 1lb below his previous win-mark and his record first time out is exceptionally good. He's got a fine chance of adding to that now.

Justanotherbottle has the form to get involved and boasts a recent spin on the all-weather at Wolverhampton to further his case, he's another to be considered, while top-weight Tarboosh has had a wind operation since last spotted and, like the selection, is very capable first time out.

Likewise, Zarzyni is race-fit and, while unable to add to his debut maiden win at Goodwood in 2019, he has now tumbled down to a mark of 90 and should be getting his head in front in the coming months.

Son And Sannie only had two turf runs after joining Paul Midgley last summer from Ireland and they came on soft/good-to-soft ground at Windsor and Thirsk. He showed in November on the all-weather that there's ability in him, so he's not one to cross off the list, especially when getting good ground to run at this season.

Selection: Jabbarockie

Next Best: Son And Sannie

3.35 - Betway Queen's Cup (Heritage Handicap, 1m6f)

Another testing puzzle to solve, this time over a staying trip for the Queen's Cup. A field of 14 have been declared and there are plenty with pressing claims, amongst them must be Nate The Great, Trumpet Man, Themaxwecan and Cardano.

Nate The Great was successful on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last time out, taking the scalp of Who Dares Wins, and appears on a workable mark back on grass for Andrew Balding with William Carver claiming 5lb. He's much-respected.

Themaxwecan stays two-miles and relishes good ground, so any further drying here is favourable. He may just be better for the run, however. Hollie Doyle partners Cardano, a four-time winner on turf from 13 starst. He's also won his last two starts on the Lingfield's all-weather track, is race-fit and must rate a massive player if his stamina holds out.

The likes of Torcello and Indianapolis are capable performers but maybe STARGAZER can take advantage of his featherweight. Phil Kirby's charge won over this trip at Haydock in September, the only time last season that he got to race away from soft ground on turf.

He won't want soft in the description and he's shown some fine all-weather form over the winter, tying in nicely with Nate The Great. He's only a pound above that Haydock win-mark and could have more to offer given his ground.

Selection: Stargazer

Next Best: Cardano

 

4.11 - Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap (5f)

A return to the grass could be productive for BALLYARE, Lucinda Russell's gelding having won twice on the all-weather (2-9) during the winter months. The most recent of those was at Wolverhampton in December and he also finished second there last month from a 1lb higher mark than this.

Paul Mulrennan knows him well and he shaped nicely on his only previous Musselburgh start in July, despite meeting some traffic problems. He's a lively player back here.

Top-weight Machree is 1lb lower than when finishing second here last season, but the mare face a challenge giving away weight today.

Afandem and Tomily are other notables, the latter starting out for new trainer Iain Jardine, while Fox Hill handles any ground and should go well for Eric Alston on her comeback.

Selection: Ballyare

Next Best: Fox Hill

4.46 - Betway Handicap (1m)

MERRICOURT won over C&D (good) back in September and is rated just 1lb higher now for trainer Iain Jardine. He's got a decent record around this place on good ground and his recent all-weather run at Newcastle was eye-catching, as he did his best work late on, and that should stand him in good stead coming back here.

Ayr Poet was very consistent last season, notching three wins and two runner-up efforts from just eight starts. Jim Goldie's gelding is proven to go well fresh and should be challenging form this mark again.

First Response is another that needs considering in the finale, while The King's Steed is on a lowly rating if finding his form. He's not the most consistent, but has race-fitness on his side from recent all-weather starts and it wouldn't be a complete surprise to see him fare well back on turf.

Selection: Merricourt

Next Best: The King's Steed

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