Musselburgh racing tips: Be quick to back Zeshov

Zeshov won at Musselburgh last term
Zeshov won at Musselburgh last term
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Zeshov was successful on quick ground at Musselburgh last term and can stage a repeat performance on the East Lothian track on Thursday night.

The gelding returned to action after his winter break with a highly-promising effort at Pontefract three weeks ago where he was always prominent and laid down a strong challenge in the short home straight,

The stiff, uphill finish saw him weakened into seventh in the closing stages of that mile event, but even so he was beaten just over two lengths and will be all the better for that exercise.The six-year-old enjoyed victories at Sandown and Newmarket when trained by Jeremy Noseda before changing hands for 12,000 guineas late in 2015.

He came good for his new trainer, Rebecca Bastiman, in the second half of last season, finishing second at Yarmouth and then winning over a mile on this track in September.

That was off a mark of 65 and he defied a 5lb hike in the ratings to follow up at Beverley three weeks later. He runs off a mark of 73 in the RUK Handicap (7.10) but has been successful off that 
rating in the past and gets a confident vote as he is likely to get the fast underfoot conditions he needs to show his best.

Bastiman can make it a double with Royal Brave, who can follow up a recent victory on this course in the Racing UK Day Pass Handicap (8.10). The gelding was placed five times last year and was unlucky when hampered on one occasion here before signing off with a victory on the tapeta at Newcastle in November. He reappeared for two unplaced runs there in March before justifying favouritism at the opening meeting of the season on the East Lothian track. He was always to the fore, led inside the final furlong and kept on strongly and can defy a 6lb rise in the ratings.

Benjamin Thomas has been runner-up in all three of his races so far and can go one better in the Racing UK Maiden Stakes (6.40). A 25,000 guineas buy, he was second on his debut at Pontefract last September and then went down in a photo finish on that same track a month later. He reappeared to finish second again at Redcar last month, but there can be no doubting his temperament.

That Redcar event was over seven furlongs and he might well have won instead of going down by only a short head had he not edged right in the final few strides.

He got up close home to win at Catterick last week and the runner-up there boosted the form considerably with an all-the-way win at Beverley earlier this week.

So Tanawar certainly looks worth support despite top weight in the concluding Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap (8.40).

That Catterick event was for apprentices, so Tanawar escapes a penalty tomorrow and is able to race off the same mark with stable jockey James Sullivan taking over in the saddle.

Selections: 6.40 Benjamin Thomas; 7.10 Zeshov; 8.10 Royal Brave; 8.40 Tanawar.