Musselburgh tips: The Linksman is worth the wait

Brian Ellison

Brian Ellison

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Patience could be the key for punters at Musselburgh tomorrow when The Linksman is nominated as the best bet of the day.

The gelding turns out for the final event – the Racinguk.com Standard Open National Hunt flat race (4.05) when he can concede weight to all his rivals.

Trainer Brian Ellison gave 30,000 guineas for the five-year-old some 18 months ago and he could prove a real bargain as he is closely related to some very good hurdlers and chasers and hails from the family of Grand National winner Last Suspect. He was sent off favourite on his racecourse bow at Worcester some 15 months ago, but could finish only sixth when his inexperience showed as he tired and hung in the closing stages.

The gelding was off the track for more than a year and his trainer confirmed that he had some training issues, but he made amends in style when returning to racing and winning at Sedgefield last month.

Always tracking the leaders, he stayed on strongly to take command on the stiff uphill climb to the line and is sure to strip fitter now. Ellison rates him highly and he 
can shrug off a 7lb penalty for that success.

Ellison does well on the East Lothian track and can initiate a double with Eyes of a Tiger in the Watch RacingUk in HD Handicap Hurdle (2.25).

The chestnut showed plenty of promise in bumpers in Ireland before winning a maiden hurdle at Clonmel after which he joined Ellison in north Yorkshire.

Eyes of a Tiger opened his account for his new connections in a handicap hurdle at Wetherby in November and finished second at Doncaster a month later despite an 8lb rise in the ratings.

He went up another 2lb for that effort and again ran well on this track on New Year’s day when he led until the penultimate flight before tiring on the run-in to finish fifth.

Rebecca Menzies has had her team in great form since moving yards last autumn and she has a good record at Musselburgh with a strike rate of 16 per cent in recent seasons for a healthy level-stake profit.

She can add to that tally by saddling Captain Mowbray to win the Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Hurdle (12.50) which opens the card.

The gelding has yet to score from a dozen starts, but has been runner-up in two of his last three races at Sedgefield in October and at Wetherby on Boxing Day. He did particularly well on the latter occasion when hampered by a faller at the final obstacle.

Moscow Calling showed improved form when wearing blinkers for the first time and finishing second at the last meeting here and can go one better in the Racing UK HD Handicap Hurdle (3.30).

He was caught on the run-in and beaten two-and-three-quarter lengths by Landmarque and is now only marginally better off, but has just a low weight to carry and may well turn the tables.

Selections: 12.50 Captain Mowbray; 2.25 Eyes of a Tiger; 3.30 Moscow Calling; 4.05 The Linksman