Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson has always been a strong supporter of Musselburgh’s big jumps fixture and he again sends a strong team north to the East Lothian track tomorrow.
Tetlami faces the unbeaten Overturn in the opening novices chase and Anquette carries top weight in the handicap chase, so he may have to wait for the last race before netting a winner with Barenger in the John O’Mailley 80th Birthday Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle (4.30).
The gelding was an impressive winner on his racecourse bow in a bumper at Newbury just over a year ago, but then flopped in three attempts over hurdles last spring. However they were over longer trips and he turned in a much better effort when dropped back to the minimum distance for his handicap debut at Sandown just before Christmas.
The six-year-old was always up with the pace before leading at halfway and was only just run out of it in the closing stages. He was beaten less than a length in a competitive affair and the winner has obliged again since then to boost the form, so Barenger looks on a handy mark here and it is interesting that Henderson is not afraid to take on much more experienced rivals.
Kashmir Peak is unbeaten over hurdles and can complete a hat-trick to boost his Cheltenham Festival prospects in the John Smiths Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial (2.30).
A winner over ten furlongs on the level in Ireland, he scored by a wide margin on his hurdling debut at Market Rasen after joining John Quinn in Yorkshire and then stepped up to Grade Two company and followed up at Doncaster.
He beat Sametegal by a length there and it will be close again. That rival smart form over obstacles in France and won on his British debut at Wetherby for champion trainer Paul Nicholls. He was conceding 3lb at Doncaster and the pair clash on level terms now, but Kashmir Peak can use his flat race speed to good effect. Tap Night can give the locals plenty to cheer about by completing a hat-trick of victories over fences in the Scottish Future Champions Nov ices Chase (2.00) on what is by far the best NH card I have ever seen at Musselburgh.
Successful twice on the level in America, he cost 20,000 dollars before joining Fife trainer Lucinda Russell and has already repaid much of that outlay. The gelding completed a hat-trick over hurdles at Carlisle, Newcastle and Kelso last term before finishing an excellent 6th in a Grade one affair at Aintree.
He has won both his races so far over fences at Ayr this term and although he steps up half a mile in trip tomorrow. He has plenty of stamina.
Donald McCain also has a strong hand on the card and his Overturn will be at long odds-on to win the opener, while Cloudy Lane can take the CGA Scottish Foxhunter Chase (4.00).
The veteran disappointed when only 6th in the Foxhunters at the Cheltenham festival last spring, but made amends at Aintree and will again be a major force in this sphere.
Musselburgh Selections: 2.00 Tap Night; 2.30 Kashmir Peak; 4.00 Cloudy Lane; 4.30 Barenger.