Horse Racing: Taste victory on the hoof

On THE HOOF hit the target for top golfer Lee Westwood and his agent Chubby Chandler when winning at Beverley recently and he can score again for the partnership at Musselburgh tomorrow night.

The three-year-old had shown promise when making the frame in four of his ten previous starts before opening his account on the Humberside track and can defy top weight in the Faster Greener Central Taxis Handicap (8.45).

He had taken the eye when a fast-finishing fourth in the mud over six furlongs at Pontefract last month and the extra furlong at Beverley was in his favour. He got a nice run through on the rails to hold off the strong, late challenge of Ryan Moore on a hot favourite from Sir Michael Stoute’s powerful Newmarket yard.

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That form looks rock solid and On The Hoof is a confident selection over seven furlongs with Paul Mullrennan on board again despite a 6lb hike in the ratings.

Trainer Ollie Pears has booked smart apprentice Julie Burke to partner Wot’s The Point in the opening Gordon Halliday Flooring Apprentice Handicap (6.45) and the hint should be taken.

The four-year-old was too backward to run as a juvenile and did not show much in two outings last term for Walter Swinburn, so was snapped up for just 2,000 guineas by Pears at Doncaster sales last October and made an encouraging debut for his new connections when runner-up on the all-weather at Wolverhampton in March where he made much of the running.

The gelding was still four lengths clear when running wide on the home turn and was caught inside the final furlong. That was over a mile and a half and he again led until the final quarter of a mile when third over a slightly shorter trip at Southwell.

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He drops back to a mile tomorrow and has to give weight away all round, but has plenty of pace to dictate throughout on this sharp track.

Crystal Cove cost 29,000 gns and looked set to score at the first time of asking on his debut at Southwell where he set a strong pace, but the grey tired inside the final furlong and could only finish third.

Tim Easterby’s juvenile again showed lots of pace at Beverley where he led until headed just inside the final furlong, eventually finishing fifth. He did little wrong that day against decent opposition on a stiff track and faces a much easier task in the Bernard Hunter Crane Hire Maiden Stakes (7.15).

Sandwith loves the East Lothian Track, netting four of his eight career victories over the sharp 5f here as well as being placed on this track on several occasions.

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The nine-year-old was a close third at the last meeting here and that form has been boosted by the subsequent success of the winner, while Sandwith bounced back to his best with an all-the-way win at Hamilton Park. He has a plumb draw next to the stands rail in the Edinburgh Evening News Handicap (8.15).

Musselburgh selections:

6.45: What’s The Point. 7.15: Crystal Cove. 8.15: Sandwith. 8.45: On The Hoof.