Almargo all set for a very Good Friday

Racing at Musselburgh. Pic: Kate Chandler
Racing at Musselburgh. Pic: Kate Chandler
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Mark Johnston has an excellent record at Musselburgh and launches a three-pronged challenge on the big race there on Good Friday.

The Yorkshire trainer is responsible for top weight Bow Creek in the £50,000 totepool Royal Mile Handicap (3.50) along with Almargo and Swivel, and all three have winning form already this year.

The trio have been in action on the all-weather during the winter with Bow Creek winning a Listed event at Lingfield recently, but may find the concession of lumps of weight to his stable companions beyond him.

Swivel has won four of his six races on the artificial surfaces since early January while Almargo has rattled up a hat-trick in impressive style on Polytrack in recent weeks. The colt cost 350,000 guineas and showed promise in three starts on turf last year.

He was having his first run since October when making all the running to open his account over six furlongs at Kempton a month ago and quickly followed up over the same trip at Lingfield before stepping up a furlong and completing the hat-trick at Wolverhampton.

Silvester de Sousa was on board then and renews the partnership tomorrow.

It’s a step up in trip, but Johnston is a canny handler who clearly feels it is worth a try and the easy mile around two bends will help. So Almargo gets my vote.

Johnston introduces Mukhmal in the opening Bet toteplacepot Scottish Brocklesby Stakes (2.10) and there is likely to be plenty of support for this 60,000 guineas yearling, but there are others with experience to contend with.

Magic Florence showed lots of speed when fourth on debut at Doncaster, while Cheerio Sweetie was a most impressive winner on her debut at Lingfield a fortnight ago, scoring by nine lengths. Trainer David Evans sends her on the long haul from his Welsh base and the trip can pay off.

Tangerine Trees and Kingsgate Choice occupied the first two placings in the Borderlescott Sprint Trophy (2.40) 12 months ago and will go well again, but the prize can go to Newmarket raider Heeraat. The five-year-old won in Group Three company at Newbury last summer and tends to show his form early. He was successful at Newbury on his reappearance this week last year, having finished third on his return to action at the Newmarket Craven meeting the previous season.

Sirvino caught my eye when finishing fifth on his reappearance last weekend at Thirsk where he had a much interrupted passage in the closing stages. That exercise will have helped to blow away the cobwebs and he can take the Download the Totepool Live Info App Handicap (3.15).

Musselburgh selections: 2.10 Cheerio Sweetie; 2.40 Heeraat; 3.15 Sirvino; 3.50 Almargo.