Musselburgh preview: Spring Offensive can rule in Royal Mile (14:55)
Trainer Richard Fahey has made a cracking start to the new flat turf season, and Spring Offensive can provide him with another success in the valuable Royal Mile Handicap at Musselburgh today (14:55).
The gelding had just three starts last season and, after shaping with bags of promise when third on his debut, opened his account in good style when staying on strongly from off the pace to beat Indeible Ink by 1 1/2 lengths in a 7f maiden at Redcar.
Spring Offensive won going away in a race that has worked out well, and went on to improve again when last seen in action and runner-up on his handicap bow in a competitive 15-runner 7f nursery at York off a mark of 77.
This son of Iffraaj finished with a flourish to go down by just a short-head to Invicible Gold, and the form of the race has a strong look to it.
The winner went on to perform with credit when eight of 15 in a valuable sales race at Newmarket, and the fourth home Supreme Occasion subsequently finished fourth in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster and is now rated 99.
That makes Spring Offensive look potentially very well-treated off a mark of 80, especially as the step up in trip to a mile looks sure to suit given how he finished off his races last season.
An obvious danger to the selection is the William Haggas trained Tadeeq.
This gelding progressed with each outing in three starts last season, winning a 7f maiden at Wolverhampton on the final occasion despite still showing signs of inexperience.
Tadeeq ran on strongly to score with more in hand than the 1/2 lengths winning margin suggests, and the well-bred son of Makfi looks open to stacks of improvement now having his stamina drawn out.
An opening handicap mark of just 77 could well be on the lenient side, and the stable have done very well over the years with similar types.