Musselburgh racing tips: Stay late for Adventureman

James Sullivan rides Adventureman. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images
James Sullivan rides Adventureman. Picture: Warren Little/Getty Images
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It should pay punters to stay until the close of play at Musselburgh tonight when Adventureman rates the best bet in the closing event.

The five-year-old was runner-up on this track recently and is expected to go one better for trainer Ruth Carr and jockey James Sullivan in the Pay for Racing UK via Phone Bill Handicap (9.10).

He led for a long way before going down by a length and a half to Cosmic Ray here three weeks ago, but is now 4lb better off and that should be enough for him to turn the tables.

The pair also met at Nottingham last month when Cosmic Ray again triumphed with Adventureman back in fourth place. But the latter was only beaten half a length in a thrilling four horse photo finish after leading until the final strides.

The gelding is now 6lb better off based on that form and it is certainly worth noting that his only victory so far actually came in this corresponding event 12 months ago.

Sebastian’s Wish has won both his starts since joining Scots trainer Keith Dalgleish early this year and can complete the hat-trick in the opening Racing UK Now in HD Handicap (6.40).

The gelding had shown some ability without winning for previous handler Richard Whittaker and opened his account over a mile and a half at Wolverhampton in January before returning from a break to defy a 3lb rise in the ratings when obliging again on this track three weeks ago.

The four-year-old is German-bred and has bags of stamina on his dam’s side being out of a half-sister to top class performer Shirocco who won the Deutches Derby, the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Breeders Cup Turf in New York.

So the extra quarter of a mile last time out posed no problem and he should cope with the drop back in trip this time. The big question though is a 9lb hike up the ratings for that latest success.

It means he has to give weight to all his opponents, but German-bred horses are often slow to mature and I reckon he still has bags of potential, while Dalgleish has wisely side stepped an engagement in the Class 4 stamina test later on the card to take on this lesser Class 6 opposition.

His jockey, Joe Fanning, can complete a double on board Thomas Cranmer in the Shawbrook Bank Handicap (7.40).

A winner at Chester as a juvenile last term, he fell there on his final start last season, but showed it had left no lasting effects when returning to action and finishing third at Southwell in April.

He then made most of the running and held on gamely to win in a photo finish at this track recently over the same seven furlongs he tackles tonight.

The handicapper has put him up 6lb for that, but trainer Mark Johnston tries to negate that additional impost by pitching him in against older horses from whom he gets an 11lb weight for age allowance and that can make all the difference.

Purple Rock ran really well when second at the big York meeting last week and can defy top weight in the Daikin Applied (UK) Handicap (8.10).

The gelding tackles this trip for the first time, but was noted running on strongly over a mile and a half at York and comes from the in-form Mick Easterby yard.

The Yorkshire veteran snapped up Purple Rock, who cost 80,000 guineas as a yearling – for just 7000 guineas after the horse had won just once in eight starts for Charles Hills.

Purple Rock repaid that outlay with two victories over ten furlongs last season. His dam was runner-up in the Irish Guineas and has produced half a dozen winners, including a couple over jumps, so I will take the chance on his stamina on this sharp track.

Selections: 6.40 Sebastian’s Wish; 7.40 Thomas Cranmer; 8.10 Purple Rock; 9.10 Adventureman.