Excellent turnout for Scotland’s Cheltenham Trials Day
Musselburgh’s Cheltenham Trials Day has attracted a good quality entry with most of the big southern stables represented. The card offers £137,000 in prize money with the Triumph Hurdle Trial at 2.30 now holding Listed status.
The probable favourite is John Ferguson’s Broughton who went into many notebooks after his eye-catching debut at Doncaster. He finished just a head behind Fox Norton at Doncaster, putting in a determined late challenge from the last.
Nicky Henderson is represented by Adeupas D’Ycy who steps out of bumpers after being beaten 13 lengths by the festival-bound Modus at Cheltenham. Ireland is doubly represented with Gordon Elliott’s Clarcam and Robert Hennessy’s Space Ship.
The latter was trained by John Gosden on the flat and finished second in the King George V Handicap at Ascot in the summer. He also caught the eye on his hurdling bow when staying on into fifth behind Triumph Hurdle contenders Plinth and Ivan Grozny.
The Scottish County Hurdle at 3.30 is the richest race on the card with the weights headed by Sametegal. The five-year-old was second in the Greatwood Hurdle and third in the Christmas Hurdle on his last two starts.
Sametegal will be ridden by Harry Derham, fresh from his success on Saphir Du Rheu in the Welsh Champion Hurdle on Saturday. Henderson saddled the runner-up in that race and opposes the top weight with Kempton winner Lyvius.
Tony McCoy rides Yorkist who is seeking a four-timer for Brian Ellison while Strongpoint is looking for a third consecutive victory at Musselburgh hat-trick under Peter Buchanan. Clever Cookie is another course and distance winner and he has been attracting early support.
Henderson is doubly represented in the Scottish Future Champions Novices’ Chase at 3.00 with Top Of The Range and Ericht. Barry Geraghty is on Ericht with Andrew Tinkler partnering his stable companion.
The Lambourn trainer poses a similar problem for punters in the opener with Mister Dillon (Geraghty) and Malt Master (McCoy). A big danger could be the well-backed Monetary Fund from the Venetia Williams stable which enjoyed four winners on Saturday.
Williams also provides the favourite with Upepito in the Scottish Champion Chase at 2.00. McCoy rides the odds-on favourite Racing Pulse in the Albert Bartlett Trial at 1.30.
Selections: 1.00 Mister Dillon, 1.30 Racing Pulse, 2.00 Upepito, 2.30 Space Ship (NAP), 3.00 Top Of The Range, 3.30 Sametegal (nb), 4.00 Brassick, 4.30 Call Box