Racing: Derryfada one to back at Musselburgh

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Lancashire trainer Richard Ford has been in decent form on the level recently and can open his account for the new jumps campaign with Derryfada at Musselburgh tomorrow.

The gelding showed some promise in bumpers and over hurdles when trained in Ireland where he notched two victories in point-to-points in April before coming to this country.

So far, he has been placed in all three of his starts for his new connections, finishing second over hurdles in a three-mile, three-furlong marathon at Sedgefield in August and then occupying the same position when switched to fences at Kelso.

The six-year-old again ran well when third at Sedgefield last month and the handicapper has certainly given the gelding a chance off a mark of 95. It looks just a matter of time before he gets his head in front.

A half-brother to a decent hurdler out of a tough jumping mare, he gets a confident vote in the Download the Racing UK App Handicap Chase (3.40), especially with Harry Challoner again claiming the 3lbs allowance.

Richard Fahey has had a great season on the level again this year with more than 200 winners, and the Yorkshire trainer can get off the mark for the new jumping campaign with Innocent Touch in the Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Novices Hurdle (2.05).

The four-year-old cost 55,000 guineas and is closely related to top performer Gabriel, who has netted over £600,000 for Fahey, but Innocent Touch is not in that league.

He did win twice at Doncaster last term, though, and stays a mile and a half on the level, so the longer trip over jumps should suit.

Endeavor was successful on this track almost a year ago and has been in good form this autumn, winning two of his last four races.

The gelding scored at Cartmel in August before disappointing over a longer trip at Perth, but fared better when third at Kelso when returned to the minimum two miles. And he stayed on really well to catch the favourite on the run-in and win at Carlisle recently.

He has won 14 of his 94 starts – ten over hurdles and two chases – and is now a ten-year-old, but he shows no signs of losing his enthusiasm.

Those recent runs have seen him go up to a mark of 102 and he is 7lbs higher than at Carlisle, but he can win again in the opening Racing UK Profits Return to Racing Handicap Hurdle (1.00).

Purcell’s Bridge won twice over hurdles and has also registered two victories since switching to the larger obstacles.

The eight-year-old opened his account over fences at Carlisle last year and was successful on this track in January when he jumped well, led three out and came home unchallenged. He was placed twice afterwards before a summer break and can make a winning return in the Interactive Handicap Chase (2.35).

Trainer Rose Dobbin does well on the East Lothian track and has her string in good shape with a 14 per cent strike rate this new season.

Musselburgh selections: 1.00 Endeavour; 2.05 Innocent Touch; 2.35 Purcell’s Bridge; 3.40 Derryfadda