Oxfordshire trainer Charlie Longsdon will be hoping more than most that today’s Musselburgh meeting survives a 7am inspection (update: meeting going ahead).
Longsdon is a rare visitor to the East Lothian course, but is worthy of immense respect when he does send runners. In the last five years, he has saddled three horses at Musselburgh and two of them have scored, at a strike-rate of 67 per cent.
Longsdon looks set to add to that tally this afternoon and is fancied to complete a double with nap selection Pure Style and Castletown Bridge.
Pure Style, a winning pointer, performed well to finish a close second on his hurdles debut at Stratford before recently running out a decisive winner of a jumpers’ bumper on Kempton’s Polytrack circuit.
He may have most to fear from John Ferguson’s promising Mungo Park, formerly a decent horse on the Flat, but Pure Style may just have the edge in the Buy Your 2013 Annual Members Badge Today Maiden Hurdle.
Castletown Bridge contests the Weatherbys Printing Handicap Hurdle and appears to boast a solid chance.
The five-year-old has finished in the money in both his starts this season, filling third spot at Wincanton and finishing runner-up at Warwick last time.
Longsdon is also well represented by recent winner Hazy Tom in the Weatherbys Bank Handicap Chase, but Newmarket-based Ferguson is taken to have the say in this two-miler with Creekside, the mount of Denis O’Regan.
A Flat and hurdles winner, Creekside received a typically cool ride from O’Regan to score on his chasing debut at Towcester. A pacy gelding, he should be well suited to this quick course and a follow up is on the cards.
Nicky Richards has prospects of a double on the card with Benmadigan and Brijomi Queen.
The former won on this course last month, doing well to prevail after stumbling badly on the bend. He has been raised 5lb for that success, which looks fair and he ought to go well in the Watch Kelso On TurfTV In Betting Shops Handicap Hurdle.
Brijomi Queen runs in the closing Scottish Racing Your Better Bet National Hunt Flat Race. She looked a nice prospect when making a winning debut at Kelso in February and it would be no surprise to see her follow up.
At Lingfield tomorrow, the nap vote is awarded to Tartan Blue in the Play Golf At Lingfield Park Nursery.
Robert Cowell’s Kyllachy youngster made all to win a claimer at Kempton last time. A reproduction of that pace in this handicap will make Tartan Blue hard to catch under Silvestre de Sousa, who promises to be the jockey to follow on the card.
De Sousa also has a couple of winning chances for Middleham trainer Elaine Burke aboard Hawaiian Storm (1.00) and Restless Bay (1.30).
Richard Whitaker’s Mey Blossom (2.00) is fancied to continue her good run of form under Robert Winston.
Richard Fahey’s Southwell specialist Stanley Rigby (12.00) and the Ollie Pears-trained Last Sovereign (3.00) are two other Yorkshire raiders to note.
12.20 King Brex, 12.50 Pure Style (NAP), 1.20 Creekside, 1.50 Benmadigan, 2.20 Castletown Bridge, 2.50 Blenheim Brook, 3.20 Brijomi Queen.
Today’s other meetings: Fakenham and Lingfield.
12.00 Stanley Rigby, 12.30 Renoir’s Lady, 1.00 Hawaiian Storm, 1.30 Restless Bay, 2.00 Mey Blossom, 2.30 Tartan Blue (NAP), 3.00 Last Sovereign, 3.30 Stetson.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Fontwell and Sedgefield.