Desert Colours has been a revelation this year – winning his last five races – and he can extend the sequence at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The gelding showed only a glimmer of promise last term and beat only two home on his reappearance at Lingfield in January, but he has not looked back in the last three months, opening his winning account at Wolverhampton early in March.
He made all the running over seven furlongs then and followed up over the same course and distance ten days later. The three-year-old completed the hat-trick when justifying favouritism at Kempton just six days afterwards.
He again headed the market when scoring over a mile on that track in April and then showed that he can also act on grass when winning here at Musselburgh later that same month.
Dropping back to seven furlongs that day, he once more made all the running and kept on gamely to score by half a length off a mark of 69 and the handicapper has hoisted him a further 7lb for that latest success.
It means he runs off a mark some 27lb higher than for that first victory, but he may still be on the upgrade and can defy top weight in the HJB Claims Solicitors Handicap (2.20) when useful apprentice Kevin Stott will again be on board. He has steered the three-year-old to his last three wins and his 5lb claim can prove invaluable again.
Border Bandit made a successful reappearance at Pontefract and has been raised only 4lb in the ratings, so can follow up in the Investec Wealth & Investment Edinburgh Handicap (4.00).
All three of his career wins have come at a mile and he tackles an extra furlong here, but he is a half-brother to five winners who all scored over longer trips and he has been runner-up himself over ten furlongs in the past.
The gelding was runner-up twice here last August, going down by just a neck on the first occasion and then being denied a clear run at a vital stage a fortnight later.
He was then runner-up again at Carlisle before winning at Beverley and that recent Pontefract effort does not suggest that he is on the downgrade.
Laffan is a decent performer when allowed to use his front-running style and he may make all the running to win the Investec Wealth & Investment Handicap (3.25).
The gelding was far from disgraced when fifth in a competitive affair at Chester recently for he took a hefty bump at an early stage and was then denied a clear run in the home straight. Prior to that,he looked sure to score at Catterick until caught near the line and beaten in a photo finish.
Merchant of Dubai was an excellent second here recently and can go one better in the James Donaldson & Sons Handicap (5.05) for lady amateur riders which closes the programme. His rider, Carol Bartley, is one of the most experienced in the line-up.
Jim Goldie’s gelding has registered three of his eight career victories over this track and was placed here over hurdles during the winter. He successful at this corresponding fixture 12 months ago and although he takes a drop in trip here, can still land the spoils.
Musselburgh selections: 2.20 Desert Colours; 3.25 Laffan; 4.00 Border Bandit; 5.05 Merchant of Dubai.