Caspian Prince can defy a welter burden to land the biggest race of the year at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The gelding is one of the toughest sprinters in training and has to concede weight to all his rivals in the £100,000 William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup (3.10), but can take the spoils in front of a sell-out 10,000 crowd.
The eight-year-old has won 16 of his 71 career starts and comes here in top form having landed the £100,000 Epsom Dash on Derby day just a fortnight ago.
He had taken that valuable prize last summer and a 6lb penalty for that victory has forced him to the top of the handicap, but he is a winner on this track and has bags of speed.
He ended last term with a hat-trick of victories at Beverley, on this track and on the all-weather surface at Dundalk in Ireland before running with credit in some major events during the winter in the Middle East.
Caspian Prince was placed in top company at both Doha and Meydan and although he has twice finished unplaced in tomorrow’s event, he gets my vote.
The opposition is tough and includes Kimberella whom he beat by a whisker at Epsom last year and who was three lengths behind him in 10th there a fortnight ago after a troubled passage.
Kimberella had earlier won a major sprint final on the all-weather at Lingfield and was far from disgraced in Group Three company at Newmarket.
Duke of Firenze was a close third at Epsom, having earlier beaten a big field in a competitive sprint at York. He was third in this event last year, but finished last behind Caspian Prince here in October and looked held.
Bowson Fred and Robot Boy are others to consider, but Caspian Prince can come out on top while Meadway can repeat last year’s success in the consolation race – the William Hill Tartan Trophy (2.05) for those who miss the cut into the big race.
The six-year-old made all the running 12 months ago off a mark of 90 and runs off a 3lb lower perch this time.
Not that he has been running badly, having been second on the all-weather during the winter. He was returning from a break when showing his customary dash and leading for a long way at Beverley in April, so looks to be worth support.
Khamaary has won both her races so far and can complete the hat-trick in the William Hill Mares and Fillies Handicap (2.35).
Successful at Redcar on her only juvenile appearance last autumn, she made a successful start to the current campaign on that same track last month when stepping up to a mile.
Mark Johnston’s three-year-old made all the running and drew right away to score by seven lengths. She steps up in class and the handicapper put her up 16lb for that effort, but she looks really progressive.
Magic Journey overcame a slow start at Ayr recently and looked like winning until caught on the line, but can go one better in the Madeleine Cup Handicap (4.15).
She runs off a 3lb higher mark, but will be wearing cheek pieces for the first time.
Selections: 2.05 Meadway; 2.35 Khamaary; 3.10 Caspian Perince; 4.15 Magic Journey