MUSSELBURGH kick off their winter season with a two-day fixture this week, with competitive racing and bumper crowds assured – especially on Friday, when entry will be free.
With more than £600,000 spread over ten fixtures, it certainly promises to be a warm winter on the East Lothian track and Tweedo Paradiso can get punters off to a great start in the opening event tomorrow.
It took eleven races for the gelding to get off the mark recently, but he had shown promise in his early days and had been running on ground softer than ideal for much of last term.
He stayed on really well to justify favouritism at Carlisle just over three weeks ago in the hands of young rider Shaun Dobbin – nephew of trainer Rose Dobbin’s husband Tony, who was himself a top-class jumps jockey.
Young Dobbin certainly got the best out of the six-year-old, who was having his first race since May and who should strip fitter now, while the better ground will be in his favour in the Northern Hotel Brechin Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle (1.00). Tweedo Paradiso runs off a 4lb higher mark tomorrow, but Shaun will be able to claim an 8lb allowance because he is riding for his own stable and I expect the combination to follow up.
Wilson Renwick has been enjoying a lucrative spell and can land a double, beginning with Diddly Dee in the William Hill Supporting Musselburgh’s Free Raceday Novices Handicap Chase (2.00).
The nine-year-old is another who relishes better ground and he has had a busy time, particularly at Perth, where his trainer, Lucy Normille, has enjoyed plenty of success. He was runner-up there in July and then fourth later that month before scoring in a 2m 5F novice chase in August when ridden for the first time by Renwick.
The combination were far from disgraced when stepping up in trip and finishing third there in September and Diddly Dee is certainly improving his jumping as he gains experience over the larger obstacles.
Wilson can also take the Don King & Neville Porte Bookmakers Mares Maiden Hurdle (3.00) on Rathvawn Belle, who won a bumper at Punchestown in Ireland on her racecourse debut in February and subsequently changed hands for 45,000 guineas.
She joined Lucinda Russell and was far from disgraced in the championship bumper at Aintree on her first outing for the Fife yard before the summer break and was having a first outing since then when runner-up at Hexham on her hurdling bow three weeks ago.
Sent off a red-hot odds-on favourite, the six-year-old looked ring-rusty after a six-month break and tired on the long climb to the final hurdle. She will be fitter now and is sure to do better in time.
DukeofChesterwood has made the frame on three of his four races since opening his account over fences at Southwell in the summer and came back from a two month break to finish a close second at Wetherby recently, where he was staying on strongly at the finish.
With that run under his belt, the gelding can go one better off a low weight in the Lyn’s Sahara Walk Responsible Gambling Trust Handicap Chase (3.00)
Joe’s Musselburgh selections: 1.00 Tweedo Paradiso; 2.00 Diddly Dee; 2.30 Rathvawn Belle; 3.00 DukeofChesterwood