Patience can pay off for punters at Musselburgh this afternoon if they can wait until the final event on the East Lothian track.
Apachee Prince has joint top-weight in the Totepool Happy New Year Novices Handicap Chase (3.25), but appeals as the bet of the afternoon.
The gelding has a victory over both hurdles and fences on his CV and is the only one of the six runners to have scored under rules. He was placed several times over the smaller obstacles before winning at Kelso a couple of seasons ago and he opened his account over fences at Perth this autumn.
He made all the running to score over 2…m there and has been far from disgraced since then. Indeed, his last two efforts have come on this track and he was an excellent second over an extra half mile here at the end of November.
The eight-year-old ran a little below that level when fourth here recently when he faded from the penultimate obstacle, but he is from the family of Irish Grand National winner Ebony Jane, so stamina should not be an issue.
I expect him to be able to dictate matters from the outset this time and with Kieron Edgar claiming a valuable 3lbs allowance, he gets a confident vote.
The Musselburgh executive are likely to be disappointed with the turn-out of just 43 declared runners for a card which is worth £100,000, especially as no weather problems are envisaged and the two featured £30,000 events have attracted just six and seven runners respectively.
Silver Concorde bids for a hat-trick of victories in the Totepool Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle (2.15) after two very easy wins on this track in lesser company.
He had some useful form in Ireland before where he won twice in bumpers and three times on the level for Dermot Weld before joining Keith Dalgleish and simply strolled home to open his account over hurdles here in November on his first outing for his new yard.
The nine-year-old won just as easily in novice company here a fortnight ago and although this is a much sterner test, he was placed in big fields at Leopardstown and Galway off similar handicap marks last term.
Dalgleish and top Northern rider Brian Hughes can complete a double with Mister Showman who can defy top weight in the Totepoolliveinfo Handicap Hurdle (2.50).
A winner over hurdles at Towcester in May when trained by Dan Skelton, the gelding has been running well on the level since joining Dalgleish in October, winning at Southwell that month and finishing second there recently.
Indian Temple scored on this card two years ago and can repeat the dose in the £30,000 Totequadpot Auld Reekie Handicap Chase (1.45). He runs off a 13lbs higher mark today, but has scored twice in the interim, the latest success coming over this 2…m trip at Perth in June.
The gelding is trained by ex-jump jockey Tim Reed and will again be partnered by his son Harry, who claims a very handy 7lbs allowance,
Selections: 1.45 Indian Temple; 2.15 Silver Concorde; 2.50 Mister Showman; 3.25 Apachee Prince.