Borders trainer Willie Amos has failed to visit the winners’ enclosure at Musselburgh for the past five seasons, but he could be on the mark on the East Lothian track tomorrow.
He has notched seven winners so far this winter with his small team and Brierlyhill Boy could prove a sporting bet tomorrow when he lines up in the Edinburgh Evening News Novices Chase (2.40).
The gelding failed to score over the smaller obstacles, but has shown plenty of promise since switching to fences, leading for a long way before finishing seventh on his chasing bow on his reappearance at Kelso in November and then building on that effort when third at Sedgefield a couple of weeks later.
The seven-year-old looked set to score back at Sedgefield on Boxing Day, where he forced the pace and was a couple of lengths clear when blundering at the final obstacle and was reeled in on the stiff uphill finish.
The grey can go one better tomorrow, while Amos has chances of completing a double with Willie Hall in the Download the Free Racing App Handicap Hurdle (3.15) just half an hour later. The veteran ten-year-old has wins in bumpers, over hurdles and over fences to his credit and has been running well this term since switching back to the smaller obstacles.
He was fourth at Kelso and then third at Sedgefield before justifying favouritism on the latter course at the end of last month and still remains well handicapped over hurdles. A couple of years ago he was running well off a mark of 115, yet was rated only 82 for his latest success,
That was over 2m 3f and he made much of the running. Clear at the last, he idled on the run-in, but quickly found extra when challenged. The gelding can overcome a 7lb rise in the ratings tomorrow.
Coozan George is highly rated by trainer Malcolm Jefferson and made a promising debut when fifth in a bumper on this track in November where his inexperience showed when hampered and tiring in the closing stages.
It was a different story here a month ago when he travelled smoothly throughout before taking command halfway up the home straight to run out a ready winner.
The Yorkshire trainer intends to bring him back to the seaside venue to try and win under a penalty in the Suzanne & Nigel 10 Years Together National Hunt Flat Race (4.55) before switching to hurdles and this big, strong sort looks sure to make his mark at that game too in the near future.
Buckstruther has a good record at Musselburgh, winning over hurdles here in his early days and he came back from a long lay-off to win the hunter chase on the corresponding card twelve months ago. The gelding was subsequently runner-up twice over a slightly longer trip on a stiffer track at Kelso in the spring. He makes his first appearance since May, but can again take the CGA Hunters Chase (4.25) when he will be ideally suited by the two and a half mile trip.
Musselburgh selections: 2.40 Brierlyhill Boy; 3.15 Willie Hall; 4.25 Buckstruther; 4.55 Coozan George.