Musselburgh’s traditional totepool New Year’s Day meeting tomorrow, with more than £130,000 prize money, has attracted top quality entries from across the UK.
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls, Dan Skelton, Venetia Williams and Charlie Longsdon – who, two weeks ago, had a Musselburgh winner with The Queen’s Forth Bridge – are all represented at the East Lothian course.
In the £30,000 totepool.com Auld Reekie Handicap Classic, (1.40), Hereford-based Venetia Williams will send out Cold March with Liam Treadwell in the saddle and the jockey will be looking for better odds than when he rode 100-1 Mon Mome to victory in the 2009 Grand National. In the same race, Longsdon’s Germany Calling is top weight and, with two wins from its last three outings, will put up a challenge to Royal Macnab, trained by Rebecca Menzies, and a three-times course winner.
In the feature race, the £40,000 totepool Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle (2.50) Scottish trainer James Ewart is looking to do the double with last year’s winner of this race Aristo Du Plessis, while the Skeltons – trainer Dan and jockey brother Harry – have top weight and Cheltenham Festival winner Superb Story looking for another win.
Carluke-based trainer Keith Dalgleish fields Mirsaale, a winner twice at Perth this year and which came a credible ninth in the 2013 Investec Epsom Derby, while Jim Goldie has course favourite Jonny Delta hoping for a repeat of its last Musselburgh win on 14 December. Irish trainer James Nash makes his first appearance at Musselburgh, sending over My Manekineko from his Curragh yard and could be worth the watching.