Tuibama has shown much improved form in recent weeks and can complete a hat-trick of victories at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The gelding is a half brother to five winning sprinters, but has taken time to develop and showed little in his early races when trained at Middleham by Ben Haslam. He was unplaced at Musselburgh in early May on his first outing after switching to Tracy Waggott, but the three-year-old then finished fourth at Redcar before making all the running to score in a photo-finish at Beverley last month and he defied a penalty in the same all-the-way style a week later at Thirsk.
He has a good draw near the favoured stands rail in the Scottish Racing Handicap (3.00pm) and although he is now 15lb higher than for that first victory, I reckon he is clearly improving fast and is worth support again. The Nifty Fox has netted two of his nine career wins here at Musselburgh and always seems to run well on the East Lothian track. The eight-year-old scored over the minimum trip here at the end of June and followed up over an extra furlong at Ayr. He returned to the latter track last week and was sent off favourite to complete the hat-trick. He failed by only a head, but compensation awaits in the Musselburgh Festival Handicap (4.00), especially as trainer Tim Easterby’s horses continue in great form.
Mick Slates is another in good shape, having won twice and been placed three times on his last five starts. The gelding was runner-up at Beverley in May before being caught close home and finishing second on this track.
He went one better at Doncaster and was then a close third at Ayr before regaining winning ways when favourite at Catterick 12 days ago. He faces a stiffer test in the Watch Racing UK on Sky Handicap (5.00), but gets weight from all his rivals. Seven furlongs is his optimum trip and regular partner Neil Farley will again claim a handy 5lb allowance, while he seems to handle any underfoot conditions.
Raleigh Quay landed his first two career victories on this track as a juvenile and in his second season, but managed only one placing from ten starts last year. But he was runner-up in his first two races this term at Catterick and Ripon before going one better at Hamilton in mid-June. The gelding has developed a useful partnership with apprentice Shane B Kelly who has been on board for all this season’s efforts and the combination can defy a 4lb higher mark in the Brown Shipley Wealth Well Managed Handicap (3.30)
Joe Rowntree’s Musselburgh selections: 3.00 Tuibama; 3.30 Raleigh Quay; 4.00 The Nifty Fox; 5.00 Mick Slates.