Speedy Liber set to leave rivals trailing
TWO £12,000 Class 3 events add a touch of quality to Musselburgh’s meeting this afternoon.
A select five-runner field for the British Stallion Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (3.00) is dominated by Liber. Sir Mark Prescott’s speedy youngster won well at Bath on his latest outing and had earlier run creditable races in both the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury.
The Prescott stable had a two-year-old winner at Catterick on Tuesday and Liber should have too much speed for David O’Meara’s Our Diane, a disappointing sixth behind Dusty Storm at Ripon three days ago.
The 7f Edgen Murray Europe Ltd Handicap (4.00) is a much more competitive affair. Robin Bastiman’s consistent Green Howard will be fancied on the strength of his close second to Beckermet at Doncaster, while Vito Volterra represents Michael Smith, a trainer who makes a habit of picking up winners at Musselburgh.
First up for the Wetherby trainer is three-time winner Green Howard in the £12,000 Egden Murray Europe Ltd Handicap. Bastiman said of Green Howard: “He’s only been out of the first three once in nine starts but being drawn ten of ten is a little concern. It helps that he comes from off the pace and at least the ground is in his favour. It was too heavy when he was second at Doncaster last time and he is a nice little horse so we have good hopes for him for the future. He’s also been third at York this year despite not liking the wide-open spaces and I think he will run okay.”
However, the selection in a wide open contest will be Jeannie Galloway, formerly with Richard Fahey but now trained by the inform Keith Dalgleish at Carluke. Jeannie Galloway found six furlongs a shade too sharp for her at Hamilton in late June, but upped in distance and fitted with a visor for the first time, the filly can open her seasonal account.
Meanwhile, Santa Anita has been confirmed as the venue for 2013 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The Californian track is also due to stage this year’s meeting and has played host to the $25 million fixture five times before, most recently running back-to-back editions in 2008 and 2009.
The 2013 Breeders’ Cup meeting will feature 15 races spread over November 2 and 3, and Californian racing officials are thrilled the state has been selected to hold the fixture again. “We are very proud that California has once again been selected to host the Breeders’ Cup and we will take all the steps necessary to ensure that the Breeders’ Cup this November and next year at Santa Anita will be of the highest calibre for our racing fans and horsemen in our state and for our guests attending from around the world,” said Keith Brackpool, chairman of the California Horse Racing Board.
Zenyatta’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2009 is one of the landmark moments in the history of the fixture and the last meeting at Santa Anita featured a record 34 runners from outside the US and Canada.
l Frankie Dettori is favourite to be leading rider at this weekend’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup following the draw for the Ascot competition. Ladbrokes make Dettori, who will captain Team Europe, the 4-1 market leader for the Silver Saddle in what will be the 12th staging of the event. Team GB and Ireland, which will comprise of Kieren Fallon, Johnny Murtagh and James Doyle, are the 7-4 favourites to take the team prize.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west