Horse Racing: Almost Gemini to star at Musselburgh

Almost Gemini was successful at Musselburgh last month and looks set to follow up on the East Lothian track this afternoon.

The gelding has actually won two of his last three races and gets a confident vote to go in again in the Handicap Hurdle (3.00).

He completed a hat-trick of victories on the flat when trained at Newmarket a couple of years ago and was bought for 19,000 guineas by Charlie Mann to go jumping.

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The grey gelding was placed on several occasions over timber without winning for the Lambourn yard and went to Doncaster sales 15 months ago where he was snapped up by the Slack family from Cumbria for just 5500 guineas.

He did not run for a year, but made a successful debut for his new connections at Sedgefield in November, staying on strongly to lead at the final flight and score over two-and-a-half miles. The grey was only fourth at Kelso during the Christmas holidays when favourite, but has had allergy problems and made amends with a hard-fought victory here when he was again favourite. That spell of good form has seen him go up a stone in the ratings, but he may well progress again.

Ballycrystal can shine in the concluding Totepool Maiden Open National Hunt Flat race (4-00) and make a successful debut under rules for Yorkshire trainer Brian Ellison. Ellison paid 75,000 guineas for the gelding, who has won and been runner-up in Irish points and is bred for the jumping game, as his dam is a half-sister to Grand National winner Comply or Die.

So Satisfied has shown definite promise – particularly when third here on New Year’s Day – and can take the Totepool Supporting Scottish Racing Handicap Hurdle (3.00).

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The gelding finished on the heels of the leaders in three races in the first half of last year and was returning form a six-month break when staying on well here at the Hogmanay fixture. That was his first effort in handicap company and the five-year-old should strip fitter this time.

Tomorrow’s Legend was placed several times over hurdles and was runner-up in his first two chases at Kelso and Sedgefield before disappointing when favourite at Catterick in mid-December.

The drop back to the minimum trip seemed to put him under pressure and he beat a retreat after a mistake at halfway. The extra three furlongs in the Totetrifecta Novices Handicap Chase (2.20) should suit and he can defy top weight.

Selections: 2.30 Tomorrow’s Legend; 3.00 So Satisfied; 3.30 Almost Gemini; 4.00 Ballycrystal.