**KNOW THE BEST HORSES IN TRAINING (BEFORE THEY RACE!)**
Thursday 21 April 2011
Dont put all your eggs in one basket !
As the Easter weekend approaches I thought I would look at a couple of the sprints that take place at Musselburgh on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday we have the Class 2 Scottish Racing Conditions Stakes over 5f, the going is currently Good, Good to firm in places although rain is expected at some point, so do keep a lookout.
Hamish McGonagall will be much more at home here than he was over 6f at Thirsk first time out having won over the course and distance three times in the past and he's also best in at the weights by 7lb or more on official ratings. He will no doubt try and lead from the off, although he doesnt have to, and he seems versatile as regards going conditions, although I doubt he would want it very fast. It seems the plan was always to come here but they are now doing so with a run under their belt so he should definitely go well.
Waffle caught the eye when running on from the back last time in a Class 2 Handicap at Doncaster but that was over 6f. He has form over 5f and the strong Silvester De Sousa keeps the ride.
David Nicholls Striking Spirit is best over 6f and I dont think Moorhouse lad who he came second to last year is as good as Hamish McGonagall and he is 5lb worse off with the selection for a neck defeat in the Scottish Sprint Cup last season, also at the track. The stables other runner Masta Plasta will try and push Hamish McGonagall all the way with his trainer reporting him as bouncing since he came back from Dubai.
Elnawin has shown a consistent level of form in Group and Listed races in the past and it depends how striaght he is on his first run back since last July for Richard Hannon but he shouldnt be too far away in any event , although their is a suspicion he may prefer 6f.
Bryan Smart's Fitz Flyer shouldnt be too far away either, he ran too free last time out and his trainer subsequently earmarked this race for him as he has won it last year with Moorhouse Lad.
Given that I'm writing this on Thursday night, I'm not sure what sort of price we will get about Hamish McGonagall but he looks the likeliest winner at this stage.
On Sunday there is a Class 4 Handicap over 5f and the form of the race between Mandurah and Bosun Breese could be of significance (see this weeks Up a bit, down a bit) if both get in the race. They had a ding dong battle from start to finish last time and Bosun Breese is now 4lb better off although Mandurah has room for further improvement.
Taurus Twins could also line up after breaking the 5f track record at Windsor last time and others of note are Oldjoesaid who has dropped pounds down the handicap and is partnered by stable jockey Philip Makin, who got such a good tune out of Breathless Kiss at Beverley at the beginning of the season and Strike up the Band whose connections will be praying for the thunderstorms to arrive in time.
Anyway I hope you all have an enjoyable and profitable Easter break and I will be back on Monday.
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