Veteran rider Kieren Fallon pays a surprise visit to Musselburgh tomorrow and the former champion jockey should be amongst the winners.
Fallon has a whole host of Classic victories all around the world on his CV, but his career has stalled somewhat since he won the 2000 Guineas in 2014 on Night of Thunder and he has spent much of the last 12 months in America.
But he has recently returned to take up a new job in Ireland where he has already partnered a couple of winners and he comes to East Lothian with a couple of excellent winning chances for Yorkshire trainer Alan Swinbank.
They team up with Moonshine Ridge in the Tote Trifecta Handicap (3.30) and the five-year-old gets a solid vote of confidence.
The mare won a bumper on this track back in November and has been running extremely well on the fibresand at Southwell since then, winning her last three races in fine fashion.
She made the frame in her first four races at Southwell before scoring over 11 furlongs a month ago and then found the step up to two miles no problem when following up in an amateur riders affair a week later.
The five-year-old completed the hat-trick in game style when getting home in a photo finish, having climbed a stone in the ratings, so the official assessor may have been lenient in raising her just 3lbs more for that latest effort and she can make a successful return to the turf.
Lopes Dancer was runner-up on her reappearance at Pontefract recently and can go one better in the Totequadpot Handicap (3.00) to initiate a double for Swinbank and Fallon.
The gelding cost ¤55,000 as a foal and is closely related on his dam’s side to some Group class performers and has shown plenty of promise so far without getting his head in front.
Too backward to run as a juvenile, he made the frame in four of his five races last year, his best effort coming when second at Hamilton in June and he was having his first run for more than nine months when keeping on well at Pontefract.
The four-year-old should strip fitter now and the slightly longer trip tomorrow should suit too.
Noodles Blue Boy has been a stalwart of the Ollie Pears yard almost throughout the ex-jockey’s training career and has notched a dozen successes, with two of them coming on this track.
The gelding is now a ten-year-old, but showed that he can still produce plenty of fizz when finishing third in a big field for an apprentice event on his reappearance at Ripon last week.
All his wins have come over the minimum trip and he landed an easy victory over this course and distance last September when ridden by stable apprentice Robert Dodsworth, who was on board last week too and clearly gets on well with the old chap.
Robert spent much of the winter in Florida with top trainer Graham Motion and it would be no surprise to see him ride a few winners this summer. Noodles Blue Boy can get him off the mark for the year in the Toteswinger Handicap (4.00) when they will be receiving weight from all their rivals.
Jockey Connor Beasley has recently returned to action following a long lay-off through injury and has yet to taste success since his resumption in the saddle, but has an outstanding chance to put matters right on Dark Command in the Tote Exacta Handicap (4.30).
The three-year-old showed promise last term, particularly when third in a big field at Redcar last autumn and again caught the eye on his reappearance on that track recently.
Sent of favourite, he was soon on the back foot after a tardy start, but was doing all his best work at the finish. That first run for six months will have blown away the cobwebs and he looks the one to beat here.
Selections: 3.00 Lopes Dancer; 3.30 Moonshine Ridge; 4.00 Noodles Blue Boy; 4.30 Dark Command.