There are plenty of challengers from the big Southern stables at Musselburgh tomorrow when Lightscameraction looks all set to shine.
The juvenile makes the long trek from Newmarket and is a rare runner on the seaside track for his trainer Gay Kelleway, who holds the chestnut in high regard.
The colt, who cost 22,000 guineas and is closely related to several sprint winners, is highly regarded by his trainer but an injury early in the year delayed his debut. But he romped home when he did make it to the track at Lingfield in late July and was then an excellent fourth in a Listed race at Deauville in France where he was beaten just over two lengths. He was fourth again in the same company at the big York meeting in August and, although he finished in midfield in a major juvenile event at Ayr’s Western meeting last month, he was beaten less than three lengths at the line.
Since then, he has crossed the Channel again to France, going down in a photo finish at Chantilly where he led until inside the final furlong and then rallied gamely close home.
Although his debut victory came on a quick surface, both those French efforts have been on easy ground, so underfoot conditions won’t matter and he can land a nice prize in the British Stallions Studs EBF Conditions Stakes (3.00).
Altaayil cost 550,000 guineas and Sir Michael Stoute, pictured, sends the colt up from Headquarters in a bid to get a win out of this son of Sea the Stars in the Willie Park Trophy (4.50).
The three-year-old did not race as a juvenile and has been runner-up in four of his five outings so far. He was only second in a four-runner event at Haydock and was beaten when favourite for a modest maiden at Wolverhampton recently, so has clearly limited ability.
By contrast, Chesil Beach has won her last three races and looks to be still on the upgrade so trainer Andrew Balding must be thanking his lucky stars that there was no bid for the filly after she won a seller at Lingfield in June.
Since then, she has been placed three times, has completed a hat-trick of wins at Brighton and Chester twice and won more than £25,000 in prize money.
She has won over distances ranging from 12 furlongs to two miles, has risen 22lbs in the ratings and can extend her winning sequence. Borderlescott would be a popular winner of the Graphic Impressions 21st Anniversary Conditions Stakes (4.15) but I fear the prize may fall to another veteran in Tangerine Trees.
The nine-year-old has 13 career wins to his credit and was ranked amongst the best sprinters in 2011 when his three pattern race wins included the Prix de L’Abbaye in Paris. Unfortunately, his Group One penalty proved too much in top events the following season and his only win since then came over this course and distance early last term. He was fourth in that same event here on his reappearance this spring and finished in midfield under a big weight in the £100,000 Scottish Sprint Cup here in midsummer before going down narrowly at Hamilton. He was hampered when a close fourth latest at Beverley where he was a head behind Blazing Thread and can turn the tables now on slightly better terms.
Glasgow trainer Jim Goldie saddles six of the 14 runners in the Betfair Scottish Stayers Series Final (3.35) and A Southside Boy can prove best. He has run consistently since scoring on his reappearance at Hamilton in April and caught my eye when a close fourth at Ayr last month when coming from way off the pace.
He was only eight of nine runners there recently, but was denied a clear run and was less than four lengths adrift of the winner. He now races off a 4lbs lower mark than for his last win and smart apprentice George Challoner will claim a very useful 3lbs allowance.
Musselburgh selections: 3.00 Lightscameraction; 3.35 A Southside Boy; 4.15 Tangerine Trees; 4.50 Chesil Beach.