Racing: Mullen in line for Royal Peculiar win

TRANENT-born ­jockey ­Andrew Mullen has an ­outstanding chance to land the big race at Musselburgh ­tomorrow on board bargain buy Royal Peculiar, writes Joe Rowntree.

The four-year-old makes the trip from Mick Appleby’s Newark yard to line up for the Musselburgh Gold Cup (3.50) and I expect him to lift this prestigious prize before going on to better things.

Mullen has not looked back since teaming up with Appleby who sent out 40 winners last year and has already put 13 on the board since Hogmanay.

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Royal Peculiar is bred to be a real stayer as his dam is a half sister to several high-class performers including Yorkshire Cup winner Percussionist, Playful Act who won the Fillies Mile and the Lancashire Oaks and Echoes in Eternity whose victories included the Sun Chariot and Park Hill Stakes.

No surprise then that Royal Peculiar made 100,000 guineas as a yearling and joined Henry Cecil at Newmarket. Unraced as a juvenile, he won a maiden at Lingfield for the Warren Place team in 2011, but his career was truncated by injury and he did not race again for ten months. Last term yielded a couple of decent efforts, especially when third at York, but he was sent to the sales last autumn and Appleby snapped him up for just 4,000 guineas.

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Still an entire, the son of Galileo was unplaced in his first two runs for his new connections, but then Mullen steered him to victory in a valuable handicap over a mile and a half at Lingfield just before Christmas.

Another minor training set-back followed, but the five-year-old ran well when third on his return to action at Wolverhampton a fortnight ago and he will appreciate the step up in trip tomorrow.

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Richard Fahey is another trainer off to a good start this year and he can land the Bet Totequadpot Maiden Stakes (3.20) with Brook’s Bounty. The three-year-old was runner-up in both his juvenile starts at Ayr and Catterick last October.

He cost 22,000 guineas and is out of a useful mare who is a half sister to top juvenile Winker Watson who is now a successful sire, so is bred to win and should not be troubled by the extra furlong on his debut, while his trainer has a good record on the East Lothian track.

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Mick Channon has sent runners to the two-day fixture from his South-country base and The Scuttler can make it worthwhile by taking the Kingsize Pools at Handicap (4.55).

The three-year-old showed promise last term especially when runner-up at Epsom and has been in good form on the all-weather in recent weeks, opening his winning account a fortnight ago.

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He was denied a clear run at a vital stage, but quickened well to lead inside the final furlong and then kept on gamely to prevail in a photo finish. A 3lb rise in the ratings should not halt his progress.

Pull the Pin again sports the headgear in the concluding Try a Tote Trifecta at Handicap (5.25) when the drop back to the minimum trip should pose no problem as he possesses bags of speed.

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• Selections : 3.20 Brook’s Bounty; 3.50 Royal Peculiar; 4.55 The Scuttler; 5.25 Pull the Pin