THE presence of champion jockey AP McCoy should ensure a healthy attendance at Musselburgh today as the Irishman makes a rare appearance at the East Lothian track.
McCoy’s most recent career landmark was his 4,000th success in early November and six wins from that historic tally were achieved at Musselburgh. The 18-times champion is down for four mounts on the only jumps card of the day in the UK and Ireland, and while all of his rides have chances, Bar De Ligne carries The Scotsman’s nap vote this afternoon.
The fixture also sees a return to action for Scottish jockey Wilson Renwick, who gets back in the saddle, 22-days after breaking his collarbone at Wetherby on Boxing Day.
The Hawick-born jockey is booked for four rides and they include Lucinda Russell’s Rudemeister, who takes on Bar De Ligne, in the £12,000 Buy Your 2014 Annual Members Badge Today Handicap Chase.
Renwick said: “I know the horse quite well and we won at Hexham over this sort of trip in October. He’s coming back after a short break and I think there is still a bit of improvement to come from him.”
The card’s feature race also includes a rare ride at Musselburgh for Robert Thornton, who partners Dorset Naga for Anthony Honeyball and two Irish raiders, Patrick Griffin’s top-weight Maggio and Robbie Hennessy’s Mister First ridden by Richard Johnson.
Renwick first mount is Rathvawn Belle in the Cosmic Case Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle and he added: “It’s a very hot mares’ race and she has a little bit to find on form. But the track and the trip will suit her and she should run well.”
However, Brijomi Queen looks the mare to be on in this contest. Nicky Richards’ seven-year-old was possibly a little overwhelmed at Newbury last time out when she faltered in a well-contested Listed mares’ race.
Before that, though, she had looked pretty useful when charging two lengths clear over this course and distance on her hurdling bow.
The neatly-reared daughter of King’s Theatre is clearly not short of boot, but would have no issues if the ground in East Lothian deteriorated as she posted winning form in the mud during her bumper days. Brijomi Queen might still have to carry a penalty for this assignment, but she should still prove a bit better than most of these.
Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie went close in a maiden event last time but can enjoy better luck in the Forth One Boogie In Morning Handicap Hurdle. Clever Cookie has been partnered by Renwick in all bar one of his four starts and they team up again today. He said: “I’d say he’s my best ride of the day. He has a big chance in his first handicap but only time will tell how well he is treated.”