In-form Gowanbuster aiming for a Musselburgh sprint treble

Rebecca Bastiman’s Royal Brave is a rival for sprint handicap

Trainer Rebecca Bastiman saddles Royal Brave at Musselburgh. Picture: Hannah Ali/PA
Trainer Rebecca Bastiman saddles Royal Brave at Musselburgh. Picture: Hannah Ali/PA

Gowanbuster bids for a course and distance hat-trick on the bumper nine-race card at Musselburgh this evening.

Trained in Northumberland by Susan Corbett, he faces six rivals in the Handicap over the flying five-furlongs.

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The bay speedster, who scorched home by an aggregate of six-lengths for back-to-back wins at the East Lothian venue, has been raised a total of 15lbs by the handicapper.

Likely to go off favourite for the fourth time in a row, he has the plum draw right against the stands rail and his Otterburn-based trainer said: “He’s certainly in great form and the hope, as always, is that he takes the journey well on the way up as he sometimes isn’t the best of travellers. His win in June at Musselburgh was his first on turf and now we know what he can on grass as well as the all-weather. Paul Mulrennan gets on well with him and they have also won twice together at Newcastle.”

Among the opposition to Gowanbuster is fellow course and distance scorer Lomu who smashed the track record at Wolverhampton on his debut for the Iain Jardine stable.

Lomu’s former trainer Keith Dalgleish is represented by Fashion Advice, a twice-raced filly tackling handicap company for the first time off the back of a convincing victory at Catterick last June.

Also in the line-up is Scots-owned Royal Brave, a five-time course and distance winner for Wetherby trainer Rebecca Bastiman.

The meetingopens with the Join Racing TV Now Maiden Auction Stakes, in which 
bargain-basement buy Giovinezza makes her debut for the Bryan Smart/Graham Lee combination.

Hambleton trainer Smart, who often introduces an above-average juvenile at Musselburgh, is 2-7 with his two-year-olds this summer and this £800 purchase has Group winners at various trips in her pedigree.

In the same event, Lazyitis belied her name – and odds of 50-1 – when storming home in second place behind an easy winner at Beverley almost a fortnight ago.

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Over in Ireland, the hugely competitive Guinness Galway Hurdle is the highlight on day four of the Festival.

It would doubtless give Olly Murphy huge pleasure to take the prize back to Warwickshire – and although the home challenge will be tough to master, Hunters Call gives him feasible prospects of doing so.

Both Aramon and Aramax – watch your bets – are sure to be popular for their respective heavyweight yards. But after Hunters Call’s comeback victory in a good race at Southwell proved he retains his ability at the age of 10, he may just be able to deliver a famous win.

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