O Ma Lad ‘in good fettle’ for raid on Musselburgh

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O MA LAD is expected to go well in a competitive looking Archerfield Cup at Musselburgh today for trainer John Quinn and ­jockey Mick O’Connell.

The Yorkshire raider, one of eight runners declared for the £25,000 contest over 1m 6f, hasn’t been seen out since back-to-back wins at Catterick and Hamilton Park in April and May.

Quinn said: “I’m very happy with him and he’s in good fettle. He had a slight niggle, that’s why he hasn’t run since the spring.

“He’s been training well and working well and I’m expecting him to run accordingly. It’s good money and as a result they’ve got a good race. We’ve put cheekpieces on because we thought he was looking around a little at Hamilton. He’s a very genuine horse but he’s also very lazy.”

Noble Alan, a close seventh in the Northumberland Plate, will be running for the first time at Musselburgh and his trainer Nicky Richards said: “He’s been doing well on the Flat. He’s won on the Flat and also a bumper and over hurdles and fences. I was delighted with his run in the Plate but he maybe just didn’t quite stay the trip. He’s a super-consistent horse and is in good form. He’s never ran a bad race and he deserves to win a nice prize like this. Flat racing has come late in life to him but he’s enjoying it despite not being bred for it.”

The top-rated horse is ex-John Gosden and Hughie Morrison-trained Tropical Beat, who will be making his debut for in-form David O’Meara, while leading Scottish Flat handler Jim Goldie is double-handed with Jonny Delta and Hawdyerwheesht.

Colm O’Donoghue, meanwhile, is in line to return to action at the Curragh on Sunday after fracturing his collarbone at Limerick in June.

O’Donoghue, who is preparing for a six-month stint in Hong Kong, sustained the injury after being unseated from Diamond Lucy when the filly clipped the heels of another runner in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

He said: “I’ve been back riding out since last Monday, the injury has healed up well and Dr Adrian McGoldrick and his brother, surgeon Fergal, have been brilliant to me.

“I’m hoping to get a few rides at the Curragh, but I’m heading out to Hong Kong next week for six months so my focus is on that. The Hong Kong Jockey Club issues licences for six months and Mick Kinane was the last Irish jockey to be issued one. Three of us have been issued licences, the other jockeys are from South African and Italy.

“Hopefully things will work out well over there.”