Lightly-raced Florenza to dictate at Musselburgh

East Lothian council had to repay thousands of pounds to Musselburgh racecourse.
East Lothian council had to repay thousands of pounds to Musselburgh racecourse.
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Florenza has been running consistently well this summer and can add another victory to her CV at Musselburgh’s twilight fixture tomorrow.

The filly failed to win as a juvenile last year, but made the frame in both her starts. Sent off at 100-1 on her debut at Ripon in June, she was denied a clear run and still managed to finish fourth.

Three weeks later she was an excellent third in a decent event at Doncaster, finishing right in amongst some good types from major yards.

That effort must have delighted trainer Chris Fairhurst who runs a small yard in Middleham, but Florenza did not run again last term.

She reappeared at Haydock in April where she stepped up to a mile, but was well beaten after running fresh and pulling hard in the early stages. Her next effort at Doncaster, though, again suggested that she has plenty of ability.

A 50-1 outsider and dropping back in trip, she finished third and the form is rock solid with previous and subsequent winners in front and behind her.

She again spoilt her chance when pulling hard a month later at Carlisle, but then opened her winning account dropped back into maiden company over six furlongs at Doncaster in June where she was always prominent before taking command in the final furlong.

The handicapper responded with a 7lb hike in the ratings, but the filly went on to finish sixth in a big field at Newmarket and fourth at Leicester before turning in a career-best performance at the big York meeting last week.

Moving up into a £60,000 Class 2 event over 7F, she made the running and although headed two furlongs out, never stopped battling. It was only inside the final furlong that she eventually gave best to be beaten just two lengths into third place.

The handicapper has raised her another 2lb for that effort, but she drops down in class again in the EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Handicap (6.50) and she can dictate matters throughout.

Zeshov needs a sound surface to show his best so trainer Rebecca Bastiman will be hoping that the rain stays away before the St Andrews Timber Handicap (6.20).

A winner at Sandown and Newmarket when trained by Jeremy Noseda, the gelding was snapped up by Rebecca for 12.000 guineas this spring and although he has taken a little time to find his form, recent efforts suggest he is about to score again.

He certainly looked unlucky at Beverley in July where he went off a well-backed second favourite and was making excellent progress up the inside rail when badly hampered and losing all chance.

The five-year-old was then runner-up at Yarmouth before finishing a close fourth on that track recently. He has slipped 8lb down the ratings since joining his current yard and this looks an ideal opportunity for him to get back onto the winning trail.

Miss Bastiman can make it a double with See Vermont who can defy top weight in the JM Architects Handicap (7.50).

The gelding bounced back to his best form when winning over this course and distance last week. A 6lb penalty means he has to give weight away all round this time, but the trainer has attempted to offset that extra burden by booking smart 5lb claimer Rowan Scott for the mount.

Master Bond is another who can defy top weight in the Cala Homes Handicap (5.20). The gelding has a penalty for a recent success on the all-weather at Newcastle.

That was over six furlongs, but four of his six career victories have come over the minimum trip and he was narrowly beaten over five furlongs at Nottingham on his penultimate start.

Apprentice Josh Doyle will claim 5lb to help offset the penalty for that latest success.

Selections: 5.20 Master Bond; 6.20 Zeshov; 6.50 Florenza; 7.50 See Vermont