It’s just more than two years since Ifyousayso made a shock winning debut at Musselburgh and the gelding can score again on the East Lothian track this afternoon.
He was trained in Yorkshire by Peter Niven and was sent off at 28-1 after a couple of disappointing efforts in the point-to-point field, but stayed on strongly to beat some horses with decent bumper form, so it was no surprise that he made 33,000 guineas in the sales ring just three days after that victory.
Ifyousayso joined the powerful Donald McCain yard and repaid some of that investment by immediately winning another bumper at Bangor and was an excellent fifth in the Champion bumper at Aintree.
A few months later he made a successful hurdling bow at Carlisle, but that was in muddy conditions which he didn’t appear to like and there followed three disappointing efforts last spring.
His owners moved him from Cheshire to join Tom George in the autumn. Switched to fences, he showed plenty of promise when fourth at Bangor before winning at Leicester and he impressed me when following up at Doncaster last month.
The Town Moor obstacles can often prove tricky, but he jumped well apart from a mistake at the last and then stayed on gamely. The tongue strap which has been fitted for his last four runs has clearly made a big difference and his new trainer has been careful to keep him out of the mud.
With underfoot conditions to suit this afternoon, he can win despite having to concede weight all round in the Musselburgh Interactive Novices Limited Handicap Chase (3.50).
Morning with Ivan was bred by Jim Bolger and trained by him to win three times on the level in Ireland before changing hands for 42,000 guineas last autumn.
Now with Martin Todhunter in Cumbria she was switched to hurdles and was unlucky not to make a winning start for her new connections at Catterick in December, leading at the penultimate obstacle, only to be collared in the final strides and beaten a short head.
Only third when favourite at Doncaster during the Christmas holidays, she again ran well when chasing home a highly-rated winner on this track in the middle of last month and the concluding Download New Racing UK Anywhere Mares Novices Hurdle (4.50) looks a suitable opportunity for her to break the ice over obstacles.
Stuart Crawford has done well with the raiders he has sent over this winter from his base at Larne in Northern Ireland and Solidago can take the opening Racing UK Maiden Hurdle (1.50).
The gelding was placed a couple of times in bumpers and has shown plenty of promise over timber, finishing third here in December. That was over two and a half miles and he was headed at the last, so the step up to three miles here recently seemed the right move.
The seven-year-old went off favourite and looked set to score when taking command at the end of the back stretch on the final circuit, but was again found wanting for pace in the closing stages and eventually finished second. Both those events were handicaps and this modest maiden affair looks well within his capabilities.
Oh Right won point-to-points and scored twice over hurdles in his early days and finally opened his account over fences under rules when winning over three miles here in the middle of last month.
The ten-year-old was always in command from halfway then and handled the drop back to an extended two miles with ease when making all the running to follow up at Doncaster. He steps up to two and a half miles in the Henry Reilly Memorial Handicap Chase (2.50) and can complete the hat-trick.
Musselburgh selections: 1.50 Solidago; 2.50 Oh Right; 3.50 Ifyousayso; 4.50 Morning with Ivan.