Views from connections and tips ahead of Musselburgh's feature race on Saturday

El Astronaute wins at Chester
El Astronaute wins at Chester

Get the latest trainer quotes and Man On The Spot's verdict ahead of the feature Edinburgh Gin's Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap on Saturday.

Views from connections

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John Quinn believes he has two live chances of winning Musselburgh's £100,000 Edinburgh Gin's Scottish Sprint Cup Handicap with El Astronaute and Soie D'Leau.

El Astronaute has been in the form of his life this season, placing in all four starts and winning a decent pot at York's Dante meeting as well as going close back on the Knavesmire two weeks ago.

Soie D'Leau has been a consistent handicapper for a number of seasons for Kristin Stubbs but moved to Quinn in the off-season and won on his debut for the yard at Thirsk, beating Blue De Vega.

"El Astronaute has got a decent draw (14), he's drawn next to Copper Knight so I just hope they don't cut each other's throats," said Quinn.

"My other runner, Soie D'Leau, is drawn in five and that's not a bad draw for him either.

"It's great to have two really good chances in a £100,000 race.

"I think they've both got a good chance. El Astronaute has just been creeping up the weights but is still running well."

Tim Easterby has three live hopes with Orion's Bow, Excessable and the aforementioned Copper Knight.

Orion's Bow is without a win since July 2016 but has looked well handicapped for some time, although he made no show when sent off favourite for a decent race at York last time out.

"Orion's Bow ran well at Pontefract but then disappointed last time out at York," said Easterby.

"The ground was very quick that day, but I can't really blame that as he's won on fast ground before. He was right up with the pace and then stopped quickly, we don't really know why.

"He'll be interesting if he's back to form and he ran a good race in this last year so he should be thereabouts, he's handicapped to win.

"Excessable was another who was really disappointing at York and like Orion's, I don't know why. Hopefully he comes back to form, he's drawn 11, in the middle, which should be good and he's got a low weight.

"Copper Knight is in great form. He's got a high draw, he's very fast but he hangs a bit left. He should have a good chance.

"I couldn't split the three to be honest.

Paul Midgley, fresh from landing the Dash with Tanasoq last week at Epsom, also has several chances with Line Of Reason, Move In Time and Orvar lining up.

"The draw might be the determining factor. You'd like them all to be a bit better drawn," said Midgley.

"Line Of Reason has been poor all winter, to be honest, but he did run well at York last time. He seems in good order and he just needs things to drop right for him.

"Move In Time bolted up at Newmarket and his form is solid right the way through. He's gone up 7lb, but he's in good shape, he's straightforward and if he gets a clear run, he has to have a big chance.

"The same comments apply to Orvar really. He's straightforward and he's done nothing wrong in his four runs for us.

"I think all three have a massive chance and it wouldn't surprise me if any of them won."

Kevin Ryan's Major Jumbo, the veteran Caspian Prince and Scott Dixon's Dark Shot are other well fancied runners.

Man On The Spot Verdict

15
6
78-7OR: 89BFD
12/1
Last RunWatch last race

A high draw used to be an advantage on the sprint course here when the ground was riding fast but only one of the first five in last year’s renewal had a double-figure berth. El Astronaute bravely held off Dark Shot and Major Jumbo in a similar handicap at York last month and almost repeated the trick on the Knavesmire nine days later when only beaten a head by Mr Lupton. But he was only seventh here last year and has 7lb more to carry. The winner 12 months ago, Line Of Reason, carries 7lb less but was behind El Astronaute last time, though that run did hint at a revival. Paul Midgley also runs Orvar and recent Newmarket winner Move In Time and in-form Tim Easterby is also triple-handed. Copper Knight has slipped back to a winning mark and should be thereabouts after a pipe-opener but ORION’S BOW may be better drawn. Favourite for this last year, he now races off a 15lb lower mark, though does need forgiving a below-par effort over 6f at York last time. Soie D'leau made a winning return at Thirsk and has only been raised 3lb but is unlikely to dominate again with last year’s fourth Caspian Prince among the opposition.

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