Keys to Cyprus has the edge
Musselburgh holds the first of three September meetings today with an eight-race card getting under way at the earlier time of 1.40.
The first division of the Towergate Underwriting Handicap at 2.10 could develop into a head-to-head between the Jim Goldie-trained Glenuji, the mount of Graham Lee, and Keys of Cyprus from the in-form stable of David Nicholls.
The course and distance winner, Glenuji, will be fancied to build on his recent Ayr victory, but Keys of Cyprus comes to Musselburgh on the back of a promising run in a competitive lady riders contest at Beverley and stepping back to 1m with Adrian Nicholls now in the saddle is marginally preferred.
Julie Camacho has an excellent record at Musselburgh, where she has fancied runners in both Towergate divisions. The Malton trainer has had four winners from 12 over the last five seasons at the East Lothian track and saddles Dubai Celebration in the 2.10pm and New Romantic in the 2.40pm.
She said: “Dubai Celebration only cost £800 and should appreciate stepping back up to a mile. He needs to settle, but they normally go a good gallop round Musselburgh and he should run well.
“New Romantic is badly drawn in stall 13 and she had been running poorly until she produced a decent second at Yarmouth last time. I wish she could produce the form on the track she shows at home as she’s been a little bit disappointing until recently. She’s tackling a mile for the first time and I just hope she settles.”
Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning command a big following at Musselburgh and the Middleham duo will be supported to take the visiteastlothian.org Maiden Stakes (3.15) with Centrifugal. The three-year-old returns to the turf after two poor outings on the all-weather and on current form will be hard pressed to beat Tim Easterby’s consistent Premier Choice, who went down by less than a length to Chester Aristocrat at Haydock and is an interesting booking for Danny Tudhope. The £5,000 Nairn’s Oatcakes Handicap run over 1m 4f at 4.25 is a wide open affair with the multiple course and distance winner Oddsmaker certain to set a fast pace. Maurice Barnes’ ever popular 11-year-old may well set the race up for the closers and both Schmooze and the course winner, Chookie Hamilton, are sure to be doing their best work in the final furlong. Schmooze has not finished out of the frame in all seven of her previous races. Last time out the filly chased home the useful Ukrainian at Ayr and surely deserves a winning turn.
The 2m Kier Construction Handicap at 5.00 sees George Moore’s stayer Petella attempting to give away weight to all 11 rivals. It’s a tough ask to concede 13lbs to Jim Goldie’s Nay Secret but she relishes a sound surface and was not beaten far when third in a better race at Pontefract on her most recent outing.
Meanwhile, Johnny Murtagh will continue to ride for trainer John Oxx for the remainder of the season - despite the jockey’s split with leading owner and breeder the Aga Khan.
Murtagh’s contract to ride the Aga Khan’s Irish-based horses was terminated last week, with the owner’s stud farm manager Pat Downes citing “differences between the parties”.
The 42-year-old can no longer ride Oxx’s Aga Khan-owned string, but the Currabeg handler said he will still use the rider for his other horses.
Murtagh is currently sidelined after a fall at the Curragh last month, but is set to partner the Oxx-trained Born To Sea in Saturday’s Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
“All being well, he’ll be riding Born To Sea on Saturday and he will ride our horses for other owners for the remainder of the year,” said Oxx. “He was not retained by anybody other than the Aga Khan.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
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