NORTH Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan, who is preparing to bid for Classic glory at Newmarket tomorrow with The Grey Gatsby in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, can confirm the well-being of his string at Musselburgh today.
Ryan, pictured, saddles Al Ghuwariyah in the opening juvenile race and his speedy filly is strongly fancied to go one better after failing by a whisker to make a winning debut at Newmarket last month. Making a complete nonsense of her 25-1 odds, Al Ghuwariyah was beaten only a short-head by Spirit Of Xian in what looked to be a hot maiden.
Ryan saddled his first two-year-old winner of the season with Firgrove Bridge at Pontefract on Wednesday. Nap selection Al Ghuwariyah could be number two before the Hambleton trainer heads to Headquarters to supervise The Grey Gatsby's 2,000 Guineas assault.
Ryan sent out Glory Awaits to finish second at 150-1 to Dawn Approach in last year's race and is hopeful that The Grey Gatsby, a 40-1 shot, can also perform admirably after his fine second-placed effort behind Toormore in the Craven Stakes on the same course on his reappearance last month.
Hit The Jackpot turns up in Scotland on behalf of David O'Meara following his wide-margin win at Beverley last week.
Julie Burke retains the ride on the gelding, who scorched home nine lengths clear on his latest start. If he is able to reproduce that level of performance, a 6lb penalty is unlikely to halt him.
Phil Kirby has his horses in good form and the Middleham trainer has good prospects of a Musselburgh double.
Kirby runs Just Paul in the featured Weatherbys Bank Handicap and this course-and-distance winner from last season should be all the better for his two runs this season, the latest of which was an encouraging third-placed effort.
Cavalieri can be another leading light for Kirby in the Thomsongray Handicap. The four-year-old won well at Catterick last week and this lightly-raced four-year-old can defy a 6lb penalty with Eva Moscrop again taking the mount.
Also worth noting in Scotland are Paul Midgley's in-form sprinter Orient Class (2.25) and the William Haggas-trained Yenhaab (3.35), who looks a horse with a bright future.
At Lingfield, a note should be made of Green Monkey in the 'Cash In Early' At 888sport.com Handicap.
James Fanshawe's charge was very progressive last season as a three-year-old and appeals as the type to climb further up the ladder this year. Shane Kelly takes the mount.
Paul Hanagan has an interesting ride at Lingfield in Etaab in the 888sport.com Maiden Fillies Stakes.
The three-year-old showed plenty of promise on her debut at Newmarket last month when sixth to Hadaatha. That experience will not have been wasted on her and she should go well in this seven furlongs event.
Warbond (2.05), who has been running well without much reward and prolific winner Spellmaker (4.15) are others worthy of attention at the Surrey course.
1.55 Al Ghuwariyah (NAP), 2.25 Orient Class, 3.00 Hit The Jackpot, 3.35 Yenhaab, 4.05 Just Paul, 4.40 Cavalieri, 5.10 Alluring Star.
2.05 Warbond, 2.35 Dylan's Centenary, 3.10 Understory, 3.45 Etaab, 4.15 Spellmaker, 4.45 Green Monkey, 5.20 Tijuca.