Gordonsville can strike gold again

MUSSELBURGH's hopes of welcoming Kieren Fallon and Frankie Dettori to Scotland's first Flat meeting of 2010 have been dashed, after the pair's intended mounts were left out of the final entries, but racegoers at least have the consolation of watching another former champion in action, as Jamie Spencer heads north for tomorrow's fixture.

Spencer, who shared the 2008 title after a dead-heat with Seb Sanders, comes to East Lothian for two mounts – Island Chief for Kevin Ryan in the opening seller, then Highland Legacy for Michael Bell in the feature event – the 20,000 Totesuper7 Musselburgh Gold Cup.

Highland Legacy was something of a disappointment last year, failing to trouble the judge in four starts, albeit the son of Selkirk was highly tried – starting the season in a Royal Ascot handicap, then failing to make the frame in the Old Borough Cup, the Ceserawitch and the November Handicap at Doncaster.

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Connections clearly think a lot of him to be pitching him in against such high-class company, and he has won four races in the past at distances between a mile-and-a-half and two miles. However, he would have to be at the very top of his game to win at Musselburgh, and other runners are preferred.

Jim Goldie's Gordonsville, fit from the jumps, won this race in convincing style last year and returns with a great chance, albeit he has top weight to contend with. His record of three flat wins from 29 does not inspire enormous confidence, but he has shown a good recent attitude and is napped to defend his crown.

Richard Fahey has started the new Flat season in unbelievable form and Haigh Hall looks the one to be on in the toteswinger Handicap. Another Fahey inmate worth an interest could be Jack O'Lantern in the totequadpot Maiden Stakes. At Kempton today, Richard Hannon's Shamwari Lodge is napped to win the Listed 32Red Casino Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes, having warmed up for the mile test with a spin round the track on Wednesday. Partnered by Richard Hughes, she was accompanied by Leave It Alone and delighted her trainer Richard Hannon.

"Shamwari Lodge worked very well, and it was a worthwhile trip as, though she gallops on the Polytrack at home, she has never yet raced on it," he told www.richardhannonracing.tv. "She has 5lb in hand on official figures and she never stopped improving last season, so, hopefully, she can carry on where she left off."

Meanwhile, Siegemaster heads a final field of 30 for the Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Monday. The Dessie Hughes inmate will shoulder 11st 7lb in the stamina sapping three-mile-five-furlong contest.