Musselburgh races: Archie Watson is twilight trainer to follow

Archie Watson has made big strides since he earned his training licence. Pic: Getty
Archie Watson has made big strides since he earned his training licence. Pic: Getty
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Archie Watson netted a double at the last Musselburgh fixture and the Lambourn trainer can repeat the dose when the East Lothian track stage a twilight fixture tomorrow.

With the opening event scheduled for 4.30, the programme is designed to cater principally for the off course betting market, but it also affords racegoers the opportunity for some sport after work.

Watson has saddled more than 30 winners in his first year with a licence and does not seem to mind sending his horses on the long haul North from Berkshire. The travelling certainly did not affect Masarzain, who was a comfortable winner here a week ago.

The gelding joined Watson only at the end of July and was a close fifth at Lingfield on his first start for his new yard before winning at Salisbury when stepped up to a mile for the first time.

He was then runner-up on the Wiltshire course before heading North to justify favouritism on this track and although a 6lbs penalty means he has to give weight away all round in the Cala Homes Handicap (6.05), I reckon he can go in again.

Stable companion Brandon Castle also has top weight to carry in the Realm Construction Civil Engineering Handicap (7.05), but he can complete a hat-trick of victories.

The five-year-old is another who joined the Watson team only recently with a record of only a single victory from 29 starts, but he triumphed in a photo-finish over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton on his first start for his new yard and followed up over an extra quarter of a mile and off a 6lbs higher mark at Salisbury a month later.

The gelding is up another 4lbs in the ratings here to a mark of 72, but he went close off handicap ratings some 10lbs higher than this a couple of years ago when trained by Andrew Balding and now that the change of scenery has enabled him to recapture his best form, he can score again.

Hamidans Girl opened her winning account at the 17th attempt when scoring at Beverley last weekend – but she would have been an unlucky loser.

The three-year-old was denied a clear run repeatedly in the closing stages before Graham lee managed to switch her both left and right inside the final furlong to eventually find a clear run up the inside rail.

So strongly did she finish that she had a length and a half to spare over The Night Before as they hit the line, even though she did not get her nose in front until inside the final 50 yards.

Despite not having won a race before, the chestnut was sent off favourite and the fact that she had been placed in seven of her previous starts shows that she has definite ability.

Now that she has discovered the art of winning, she may well run up a sequence and it’s no surprise that trainer Keith Dalgleish is eager to run her again quickly and she turns out under a 6lb penalty in the Turcan Connell Handicap (7.35).

She has top weight of 10 stone and meets the Beverley runner-up on 6lbs worse terms, but she won with such authority on the East Yorkshire track that the handicapper is likely to hike her considerably up the ratings.

Noah Amor has been in great form this year, winning three times in the spring for Richard Fahey and scoring recently at Beverley recently for current trainer David O’Meara.

The gelding was caught close home and beaten a head when trying to stage a repeat on that track last weekend and can gain compensation in the PDM Handicap (5.05) over the minimum trip.

Selections: 5.05 Noah Amor; 6.05 Masarzain; 7.05 Brandon Castle; 7.35 Hamidans Girl