SIR MICHAEL STOUTE may not have Musselburgh at the forefront of his mind tomorrow – he has two runners in the Epsom Derby – but he can land the main event on the East Lothian track.
The Newmarket trainer rarely sends his horses north of the border, so the fact that Yangtze makes the long trek on his own to run in the Edinburgh Gin Edinburgh Cup (3.25) is a tip in itself.
The three-year-old showed a glimmer of promise as a juvenile and again on his reappearance at Leicester in April. That was over ten furlongs and he was doing all his best work in fifth at the finish.
It was a similar story when he made his handicap bow at Sandown a couple of weeks ago where he was again staying on strongly up the uphill finish.
So Stoute steps him up to a mile and half in tomorrow’s £60,000 event and although he faces some stiff opposition, he will love the longer trip.
The gelding is a half-brother to a winner over this trip and his dam won the Park Hill Stakes – the fillies St Leger – at Doncaster, so stamina should be his forte.
And although the handicapper raised him a couple of pounds for that latest effort, Yangtze is still at the right end of the weights.
Tahoo was a ready winner on her debut at Carlisle and can follow up in the EBF Stallions.com Edinburgh Castle Stakes (2.50) to earn a trip to Royal Ascot.
The youngster cost £44,000 guineas and is closely related to a decent winner. She had evidently been going well at home as she was well supported on her racecourse bow and was always travelling well.
Middleham trainer Karl Burke has his string in great form and reports that the filly has done well in the interim. “She certainly shapes as though she is good enough for Royal Ascot and Saturday will tell us a bit more,” he said.
Tahoo faces another winning debutante in Kocollada who justified favouritism at Thirsk and Richard Fahey’s filly looks useful, but she took time to get going at Thirsk and this sharp track might not suit so well and Tahoo gets the vote.
Fahey can hit the target though with Back to Bond in the Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap (2.15).
The gelding was opening his winning account at the ninth time of asking when making all the running at Wetherby last month, holding on gamely in a driving finish.
He had been placed several times last term as a juvenile at York and may well be able to follow up here as he gets weight from most of his rivals and this track is ideal for those who like to force the pace.
Mark Johnston has a whole host of runners and can get off to a flyer with Ordinal in the opening RacingUK.com handicap (1.40). The colt is closely related to several winners and scored himself at Wolverhampton and Lingfield in April. He was favourite on both occasions and again headed the market on his return to turf at Carlisle recently.
He made much of the running there before being headed inside the final furlong to finish third. That was over a mile and his victories came over six furlongs, so the 7F trip this time may prove ideal.
Selections: 1.40 Ordinal; 2.15 Back to Bond; 2.50 Tahoo; 3.25 Yangtze.