14:30 Musselburgh Sat 9 June 2018
Fourth and beaten just over 1½L in this race in 2017 (good to firm) when trained by Tony Coyle; races from a 7lb lower mark and last seen weakening in the Epsom Dash (13/20) after showing his usual early pace.
Finished seventh in this race in 2017 (good to firm) and has been the model of consistency since, winning twice and finishing runner up on four occasions (all over 5f); career high mark to defy, but likely to blaze the trail.
York regular since early 2017, and ran a couple of rock-solid races at that track last month (5f), including when third (beaten two necks) to El Astronaute; much respected.
Left Robert Cowell for 110,000 gns in October 2017 after a productive season which yielded 5f Conditions Stakes wins at Newmarket at Nottingham; struggled in Group races for new connections since wind surgery.
Back to the form he showed for Kristin Stubbs in late 2016 when making a winning stable debut at Thirsk last month (5f good to firm); up 3lb and will face strong competition for the early lead.
Fourth, but beaten just over 1½L by Soie D'Leau at Thirsk last month (5f good to firm) and continues to build upon his earlier fine AW efforts (5f); trainer also saddles Move In Time and Line Of Reason.
Won on his second start in 2017 (5f Chester) and followed up off his current mark at York thereafter, so a real possibility he'll be stronger for his seasonal return last month (12/18), but work to do with El Astronaute/Major Jumbo.
All bar one of his five career wins (from 13 starts) have come over 6f, and whilst he can compete fairly effectively over this shorter trip in a lesser grade, he's 0 from 2 in Class 2 handicaps.
Both of her wins have come with cut in the ground (5f), so she has plenty to prove on the forecast good to firm ground from a mark which is 4lb above her last winning one; rates as an unlikely winner.
Followed up a decent run over 6f at Chelmsford in early April with a smooth 1¾L win over C&D last week (Class 4); up 7lb and into a Class 2 handicap, so that's expecting too much in a race which will be fast and furious.
No win since September 2016 (5f Ascot) and left Andrew Balding for 40,000 gns in November 2017. Has previous with El Astronaute, including when splitting both he and today's rival Major Jumbo at York penultimate; fifth in the Epsom Dash latest.
Veteran, but plenty to like about all three of his efforts in 2018, improving from race to race and winning well at Newmarket last month (5f good to firm); up 7lb, but closely matched with previous conqueror Major Jumbo.
Got going too late to trouble the principals (which included El Astronaute) at York last month (5f good to firm), but well handicapped from a mark 7lb below what he won this race from by a neck in 2017.
Scaled the heights in 2016 for Dandy Nicholls winning the Gosforth Park Cup and the Scottish Stewards Cup during a five-time winning run which only ended at Goodwood in the Stewards Cup (second). 11/4f (11/17) in this in 2017 but 15lb lower today.
3lb below his last winning mark (York, July 2017), but that's attributed in large to a couple of moderate efforts so far in 2018 and plenty on his plate to trouble El Astronaute/Major Jumbo and others accordingly.
Left Antony Brittain over the winter months, and returned for this trainer with a bold effort at Newcastle in March (upsides Move In Time), backed that up since; albeit behind El Astronaute but not won since his 2yo days (C&D).
Last Year's Winner
|8||Line Of Reason||7||8-12||11/1||Full Result|
|T: P T MidgleyJ: J Fanning|
El Astronaute (9/2), Major Jumbo (6/1), Move In Time (8/1), Copper Knight (8/1), Line Of Reason (8/1), Dark Shot (12/1), Fendale (12/1), Orion's Bow (12/1), Merhoob (12/1), Caspian Prince (16/1), Orvar (16/1), El Hombre (20/1), Soie D'leau (20/1), Batten The Hatches (20/1), Mayleaf Shine (25/1), Ornate (25/1), Excessable (33/1)
- Orion's Bow
- Major Jumbo
- Soie D'leau
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