Just Paul looks a winner waiting to happen after a couple of runs this spring and he can bounce back to winning form at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The gelding was in need of his first run of the new campaign at Doncaster’s opening turf fixture at the end of March, but turned in a much better effort when a close third at Redcar ten days ago.
He held every chance inside the final furlong before going down by half-a-length and the same in a big field competitive event over the straight mile. The drop back to seven furlongs for the Weatherbys Bank Handicap (4.05) tomorrow should prove ideal.
The four-year-old was much improved last term when he scored five times. He rattled up a hat-trick in the first past of 2013 and made hay here at Musselburgh last August.
He won over this trip here early that month and was runner-up three weeks later before winning again here in the early days of September. He is currently operating on a 4lbs higher mark, but is clearly still on the upgrade and gets the vote.
Leading jockey Jamie Spencer will be in action and can net a double, beginning with Al Ghuwariyah in the opening British Stallion Studs Maiden Stakes (1.55).
The filly cost 60,000 gns and knew her job when she made her racecourse bow at Newmarket recently, taking the lead approaching the final furlong and going down only by the minimum margin in a pulsating finish. With that experience behind her, she can go one better here.
Spencer can follow up on board Yenhaab in the Weatherbys Private Banking Handicap (3.35). The three-year-old carries the colours of Spencer’s main retainer – Qatar Racing – and showed bags of promise when fourth on his only start as a juvenile at Chester.
He opened his winning account on his reappearance at Ripon two weeks ago, staying on well to justify favouritism in a mile maiden affair.
The colt has plenty of stamina in his pedigree and should be suited by the extra furlong here, so can make the long trek from Newmarket pay off.
Yorkshire trainer Ruth Carr has her horses in grand shape and San Cassiano can score at decent odds in the Core Oil & Gas Handicap (3.00). Six of the gelding’s seven victories have come on decent ground going right handed and with three recent runs under his belt, he should be approaching peak fitness.
The opposition is stiff, for Hit the Jackpot was a very easy winner at Beverley last week, while Eutropius won at the last meeting here. Both run under a 6lb penalty, with the former well in as he is due to go up 11lbs in the ratings from Saturday, but Eutropius is only set to go up by 4lbs.
However their presence should ensure that San Cassiano starts at decent odds. He loves to dictate matters, has scored several times over ten furlongs and this slight drop back in trip can play to his strengths.
Musselburgh selections: 1.55 Al Ghuwariyah; 3.00 San Cassiano; 3.35 Yenhaab; 4.05 Just Paul.