Early Bird – 31st March

A winner with Corinthia Knight though with the track favouring hold up types then we had no luck with the other two who both lead going into the final couple of furlongs but were swamped.

4:25 Haydock – Nautical Nitwit
 
Might seem a little exposed compared to some in the race however seems to come good around this time having won in late February last year. Has already notched a win this season when taking a NH Bumper race, following up the next day having come last of three the day before! It’s last hurdles run though it only found the favourite too good having jumped and travelled well racing on the front end. Up 5lb for that but the yard is in cracking form whilst the slight drop in trip could be beneficial. Last turf win came in a similar race whilst the horse seems to get on well with this jockey. Can certainly belie its odds.
1pt e/w Nautical Nitwit @ 11/1 widely available
2:25 Musselburgh – Line Of Reason
 
Got done over like a kipper in this race last year, an early reminder about what the flat season can be about when Paul Midgely won this race with his third string despite holding the two joint favourites! That is why it may be worth chancing the longer of his two prices here though admittedly it looks a stronger race. A course and distance winner, generally it wants decent ground so we are not looking for it to rain much more. Has lost its way a bit though a straight 5f seems to suit best, it would have a very good chance here if able to return to its form of less than a year ago.
1pt win Line Of Reason @ 10/1 Paddy and Betfair
1:50 Musselburgh – Masham Star
 
Ran well to be third in a listed race at Wolverhampton last time having been gelded and off the track for most of the winter. The winner of that has since gone close in the mile a/w championship race when just beaten into second. Masham Star gets to compete off a 7lb lower mark on the turf for which it should have no problem. If the gelding operation has really seen improvement in the horse as suggested by its last run then it has a strong chance for a yard in good form.
1.5pt win Masham Star @ 11/2 Skybet, WillHill and BetVictor
1:50 Meydan – Sheikhzayadroad
 
Can’t resist a small bet on an old favourite. Big Orange was of interest though this big field, likely pacemakers to take it on and the wide draw are all negatives for it. However, not so for Sheikhzayadroad who has a better draw, will appreciate the good ground and the faster they go early the better is it is s strong stayer. The yard has been in decent nick and this horse, though has fallen short several times in group 1 company is still more than capable at group 2 especially if getting the race run to suit. With four places on offer it looks a good bet in a race it has been targeted at.
0.75pt e/w Sheikhzayadroad @ 20/1 Paddy 1/5th odds 4 places
3:05 Meydan – Stormy Liberal
 
Not sure when the British horses were suddenly the best sprinters in the world as it was always the case that you looked to America and Australia for the speed yet the betting is dominated by horses trained in Britain despite visitors from both other countries. The best of the American horses I hope is Stormy Liberal even though that is not reflected in the betting. Seems the best suited to this 6f with Richards Boy likely to find it a touch too far though is likely to set the pace just two stalls away from Stormy Liberal. This horse has already shown it can be readied for a race having won the Breeders Cup Turf last year and though it flopped in Japan it didn’t do too bad to finish second to stablemate Conquest Tsunami who also races here. Was disadvantaged having to race wide that day and got a bit behind when also conceding 4lb at the weights to the winner. Level weights here, there is no way this should be the price it is in my book.
0.75pt e/w Stormy Liberal  @ 40/1 Paddy and Betfair
5:10 Meydan – Poets Word
 
Had already received info that this horse has been working really well at home and that a big run was expected from it in the Sheema Classic. There were excuses for its last run which can be ignored. Is the ideal type that the trainer finds continual improvement with the older it gets, whilst its form from last year closely matched with Cracksman gives it a great chance. If it can perform like it is capable of then t should go close.
1.5pt win Poets Word @ 5/1 Betfair, Paddy, Coral and Boylesport