All of our selections ran well yesterday. Mistress Quickly was beaten just over a length and a half when finishing third at Carlisle. Meshardal (beaten just under three lengths) and Munfallet (beaten four lengths) filled third and fourth in a sprint at Haydock and, at the same track, the day ended in profit with Berlusca winning easily.
2.30 – Musselburgh:
Fendale. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Skybet, Betfred, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 5)
Merhoob. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 16/1. (Skybet, Betfred, totesport.com – 1/5 odds first 5)
Befitting the prize money on offer this year’s renewal of the Scottish Sprint Cup has attracted a good quality, highly competitive field. There are some seriously fast handicappers on display and they certainly won’t be hanging about over this fast five furlongs. A middle to high draw is normally preferred but there is pace all across the track and low numbers have been defied in the past. Selecting two that like to come from off a fast gallop is a risk on a course such as this because there is always a chance that the trailblazers won’t come back. However this looks likely to be a serious burn up and two that appeal at their relevant prices are Fendale and Merhoob. Fendale is drawn in stall eight and hasn’t won for almost four years but he was only seen once last season and prior to that had shown some decent form for Michael Dods in 2016. He has rejoined Bryan Smart this year and he has run well in two of his three starts for him. Sandwiched in between those good efforts he faced a very stiff task in a Conditions race at Chester. He did best of those on the far side in a good quality Handicap at York two weeks ago and did enough to suggest he is working his way back to his best. If he is then he is well weighted on a mark of 85 to take advantage. Merhoob has stall one to overcome but he comes here at the top of his game. He was absent for 527 days prior to his reappearance at Kempton in March and in two starts since has produced lifetime best performances on both the A/W and on turf. He was a C/D winner here last week and, although up seven pounds in a muh better race, that was only his second start over the minimum trip and he may have plenty of potential for improvement kept to it today.
3.25 – Haydock – Blue De Vega. 1 pt e/w. Available at 14/1. (Bet365, Betway – 1/4 odds first 3)
We supported Blue De Vega in the Epsom Dash last time out and he ran well enough to believe he has a future over sprint trips. He met a bit of a trouble and was always going to struggle to get to the leaders on that fast downhill track once he did. To his credit he put in some good late work and looked comfortable lying up with the fast pace. On today’s terms he faces a very stiff task against the best of these but he was rated as high as 110 two years ago and it’s not impossible he could develop into a sprinter of comparable quality. There will be no hanging about here and that will suit his racing style and he should find more racing room on this conventional track than he did at Haydock. He only debuted for current connections last November after being purchased from Qatar Racing. He holds a Wokingham entry and would’ve got into that race with no problem from the mark he started out with for his current yard. However he is now seven pounds lower and a mark of 98 leaves him perilously close to missing the cut. It would’ve got him last season but not the season before so his participation here could serve two purposes. He may be running because he may not make the aforementioned Royal Ascot race and, if he wins, it will guarantee him a place in the line up because he would pick up a five pound penalty. Robert Cowell is no mug when it comes to preparing and improving sprinters and if his charge here does make it to the Royal Meeting he will be worth supporting stepping to a stiff six furlongs.
3.30 – Catterick – Elusive Heights. 1.5 pts win. Available at 9/1.
3.40 – Newmarket – Fire Jet. 1 pt e/w. available at 14/1. (Ladbrokes – 1/5 odds first 4)
4.35 – Haydock – Mickey. 2.25 pts win. Available at 11/2. (Bet365)
5.30 – Musselburgh – Tommy G. 1.75 pts win. Available at 7/1. (Betfair)