Musselburgh races: Lil Sophella can capitalise on low mark

Racing takes place at Musselburgh tomorrow. Pic: TSPL
Racing takes place at Musselburgh tomorrow. Pic: TSPL
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Lil Sophella has displayed signs of recapturing her best form recently and can capitalise on some leniency from the handicapper to win at Musselburgh on Wednesday.

The mare has six victories to her credit and has also been placed 19 times from 50 starts. She looks a solid bet on the East Lothian track.

Successful in a valuable event at York last spring, she then ran third off a mark of 81 on this track and although she failed to collect any prize money on her remaining starts last term, she was far from disgraced in good company.

The eight-year-old failed to make the frame on her first four visits to the racecourse this term too, so not surprisingly the official assessor has cut her considerable slack.

She lines up for the Isn’t It Wise to bet with RacingUK Handicap (2.30) off a mark of 67 – a whole stone below the perch she attained just 18 months ago.

The mare caught my eye when staying on well to finish fourth at Thirsk recently and went into my notebook as one to follow for the rest of the season.

Lil Sophella has winning form on this seaside circuit, having scored over this course and distance off a mark of 76 in September 2015, while her four other visits to East Lothian have seen her finish second on three occasions.

Three Saints Bay showed bags of promise when runner-up on his debut and can go one better in the British Stallions Stud EBF Novice Stakes (2.00).

A 40,000 gns yearling, he is closely related to three winners and looked set to make a successful debut when coming to challenge the favourite on his racecourse bow three weeks ago, but the latter’s experience told in the closing stages and he prevailed by a head.

Three Saints Bay will have learned a lot from that initial experience though and tackles the same seven-furlong trip, so there will be no stamina qualms.

Take a Turn has won two of his last three races and can collect again in the Auia Insurance Handicap (4.00).

The three-year-old opened his winning account over ten furlongs at Ayr in the middle of July, but did not seem to stay when upped to a mile and a half and unplaced at Thirsk. However, the drop back to ten furlongs saw him home first at Lingfield last week.

He drops back another furlong and has a penalty to carry tomorrow, but I still expect him to come out on top again.

Tectonic has half a dozen wins to his credit over shorter trips, but has shown recently that he stays two miles and can land the Catherine Roache Handicap (4.30) for Scots trainer Keith Dalgleish

The gelding had a troubled passage when runner-up over this course and distance just over a fortnight ago and has since run well when third at Ayr.

Selections: 2.00 Three Saints Bay; 2.30 Lil Sophella; 4.00 Take A Turn; 4.30 Tectonic.