Marco Botti has never saddled a winner at Musselburgh, but he can break his duck with Masamah in the big race – the William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup (3.25) tomorrow.
The young Newmarket trainer has had few runners so far on the East Lothian track but Masamah was runner-up in this £100,000 event last year and can go one better this time.
The grey is a top class sprinter with Listed victories at Chester and York and he also took the Group Two King George Stakes at the glorious Goodwood festival in 2011. At his peak he was rated 112 and eight of his nine career wins have come over five furlongs. The last of those came in a £95,000 sprint at Ascot almost two years ago when he made all the running and although he has been beaten 20 times since then, he never seems to run a bad race.
That Ascot win came off a mark of 100 and the fact he has been runner-up four times in the interim suggests he still has plenty of ability. He ran off a peg of 102 in this last year, so looks a tempting wager off a 5lb lower mark tomorrow.
Now a nine-year-old, he made the frame in three of his four races on the all-weather last winter, including when fourth in Listed company at Lingfield and was returning from a short break when third on turf at Chester last month.
A draw in midfield means he should be able to stay close enough to likely pace setters Red Baron and Demora who made all the running 12 months ago to beat him by a length and a quarter. But he has a weight pull of 7lbs with that rival tomorrow and can turn the tables.
Red Baron is in great form with three wins and two seconds from his last five starts and has three career victories over this course and distance, but is creeping up the ratings while See The Sun can prove best of the pair saddled by Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby.
The chestnut won a similar prize at York exactly a year ago and is only 1lb higher here, while stable companion Confessional has plenty of pace and has a kind draw towards the favoured stands rail.
Richard Fahey has a good record here and is also double handed with Lexi’s Hero and Arctic Feeling. The latter has a course and distance win to his credit, but Masamah will carry my cash.
Distant Past failed to make the cut for the big event, but the £30,000 William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup Consolation (2.50) looks his for the taking. Kevin Ryan’s gelding has won three of his four starts this term, making a successful reappearance on soft ground here in April and winning again over course and distance on a much faster surface last week. In between he was also successful at Doncaster and was beaten only a length when caught in the last 100 yards and fifth in a competitive affair at Haydock.
Koothrappali caught my eye on his debut at Doncaster recently and can open his winning account in the Madeleine Cup Maiden Stakes (1.40). The youngster cost just 7000 guineas, but the fact that shrewd trainer David Barron introduced him at a good level on Town Moor suggests the gelding has plenty of ability. He showed plenty of promise though, racing keenly and showing his inexperience before weakening into fifth place. He will have learnt a lot from that experience can land the spoils. His dam won three times over the minimum trip,
Barron and his stable jockey, Graham Gibbons, can complete a double with Rozene in the William Hill Mobile Exclusive Offers Handicap (4.00). The four-year-old justified favouritism when making all on her reappearance at Ripon in May before disappointing at Redcar. But he bounced back with a good run when second at Catterick a few days later and the winner there has bolted in again to boost the form.
Selections : 1.40 Koothrappali; 2.50 Distant Past; 3.25 Masamah; 4.00 Rozene.