Simon Holt has tipped the 28/1 Scottish National winner and 8/1, 9/2 and 11/2 winners in the last week. Don't miss his Saturday preview of Musselburgh.
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Backing handicappers who appear to suddenly show improved form in conditions races is a fast route to impecunity but ROYAL BRAVE can prove that rules are there to be broken in the Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh on Saturday.
Rebecca Bastiman's highly consistent course specialist, who has won five times from 14 visits, appeared to make a highly pleasing seasonal debut on a return appearance 18 days ago when, in a non-handicap, he stayed on well to take fourth behind Tanasoq, El Astronaute and Tarboosh despite meeting all three on disadvantageous terms.
Indeed, the second and third are both rated more than a stone higher than Royal Brave who, after being short of room two furlongs out and forced to switch wide, rattled home to be beaten about two lengths by the winner.
Of course, it is highly unlikely that this eight-year-old has suddenly found a huge amount of improvement but, on the other hand, he's almost certain to come on for the run, has gone well at this time of year for the past two seasons and should get the strong gallop he needs in this big field to help him pick off rivals in the closing stages.
Even if flattered by that comeback run, Royal Brave looks to have a solid chance returning to handicap company on a course he loves with Royston Ffrench (who won on him at Ripon last September) back aboard.
Earlier, a chance is taken on the slightly inconsistent LAKE VOLTA making a winning return to action in the Silver Arrow Handicap.
Mark Johnston's gelding can be very good on his day and bolted up in a Listed race at Epsom last June before running well in a number of valuable handicaps off marks of around 100.
Back off 97 for this reappearance, Lake Volta's prominent style of racing suggests he could make a bold bid here dropped in class under top weight, over his best distance and on a course which may suit him well.
Preview posted at 1730 BST on 19/04/2019
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