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Musselburgh 2.30: LINE OF REASON (8/1) / EL ASTRONAUTE (6/1) – 1 pt e/w
Skybet are paying 5 places
This race is often a very competitive contest and this year is no different. The sprint track here has a slight bend in it at half-way and you do need a bit of luck in running.
With the likes of Caspian Prince, Soie D’Leau and El Astronaute in here there will be no shortage of pace and there is a chance that the front-runners could cut each other’s throats up top.
If that is the case, one horse who will relish a fast end-to-end gallop is last year’s winner LINE OF REASON.He looks likely to get his ideal conditions here with fast ground and a strongly run contest and runs off a mark 7lb lower than when successful twelve months ago. One thing I have noticed is that 6 out of his 7 career wins in flat turf races have come in the month of June (with the other coming in early July) so it is clearly a time of year when the horse thrives. Joe Fanning, who gave him such a great ride when swooping late to win last year, is on board again and there were just a few signs last time, at York, that the horse was starting to come back to his best form.
Of those who look set to be on the front-end from early on, I like the chances of EL ASTRONUATE best. He’s now on a career-high mark but he has been in better form than ever this season and this has been the target ever since winning at York’s Dante meeting in mid-May. Unlike a few others in here, he won’t mind the quicker conditions and he looks like giving backers a good run for their money once more.
Of the others in here, I would give a strong mention to MOVE IN TIME who won most impressively last time and, although up 7lbs for that, he remains on a mark well below that he achieved when at his peak.
(Ian - I would suggest a small Tricast with the 2 named selections and MOVE IN TIME).
Haydock 2.50: WHAT A HOME (8/1) / MELINOE (20/1) – 1pt e/w
This race represents a chance for connections of these fillies to get some ‘black type’ and, whilst we have a relatively short-priced favourite, there are a couple of very interesting runners in here.
The favourite is a good horse but I want to take her on here as I feel she is at her best in much softer ground that we have here.
TITI MAKFI was one that was very much of interest to me and she is likely to try to make all here but I think that WHAT A HOME, who finished well behind her last time they met at Goodwood, could reverse the form here and go very close for William Haggas. She travelled very well for a long way in that last race and just seemed to ‘blow up’ in the final furlong or so, as if needing the run, and was not given a hard time on the run-in. She had a very good season last year and connections would not have taken the decision to keep her in training if they didn’t think she was capable of achieving more this year. Assuming she shows the benefit of that first run this year, she could go well for a stable who have an excellent record at this track.
My second pick in the race is a little more speculative but MELINOE is a horse I have followed since seeing it run at Wolverhampton last May when she out-ran her huge odds of 80/1 to finish 4thin a maiden. Although, on the face of it, she has a lot to find on the bare figures, she has been very consistent on turf and has finished outside the first 3 only once in her 8 starts. She looks to be steadily progressing and it’s interesting that her trainer pitches her into this race when he could have run her in a handicap somewhere off a mark of 86. She is his only runner on the card and he has a good strike-rate at the course in recent years. The addition of first-time cheekpieces is another positive, as he has a good record when adopting this tactic, and the current price looks too big to ignore.