The horses-for-courses theory often pays off at Musselburgh and it looks the best policy for punters on the East Lothian track tomorrow.
Trautmann has won his last two races – both on this track – and he can complete the hat-trick in the 188bet Extra Place Races Handicap (2.40) over a mile and a half of the seaside venue.
The gelding failed to score on his first 15 starts, but shaped well after joining Teeside trainer Rebecca Menzies earlier this year after eight months on the sidelines.
He ran well although unplaced on his reappearance at Wolverhampton in April before finishing third on that all-weather track and occupied the same position on his first visit to Musselburgh in May.
The four-year-old showed he was heading in the right direction when overcoming a slow start to finish second at Ripon in June and, although he was unplaced there when favourite next time, he was far from disgraced. He recouped those losses with a breakthrough success on this track in July when sent off favourite and coming late to triumph and he followed up off a 5lbs higher mark here a fortnight later. The handicapper has put him up another 4lbs and, although P J McDonald, who has ridden him to both victories, is unavailable, I have no qualms about former champion Paul Hanagan, who takes over in the saddle.
Royal Brave is a real course specialist with four of his eight career wins having come over the five-furlong track here, the latest of them in May. He has been placed in four of his six races since then and ran really well when runner-up in a valuable sprint at Ripon.
That was over six furlongs and he will appreciate the drop back in trip tomorrow while he is back on his last winning mark. With top Northern pilot Danny Tudhope on board, he gets the vote in the Mansefield Care Handicap (3.10).
Crochet had some smart form as a juvenile, making a successful debut at Nottingham and being placed later last term. She was runner-up three times in mid-summer at Pontefract (twice) and Ripon this year before stepping up to seven furlongs and scoring here a couple of weeks ago.
The filly can complete a double for jockey Paul Hanagan by following up in the EBF Stallions Fillies Handicap (3.40).
Straight Ash scored at Chepstow as a juvenile and won at Brighton this summer for Richard Hannon before being bought at the July sales for 10,000 guineas and joining Yorkshire trainer Ollie Pears. The grey has shaped well for his new connections and can take the Ediston Handicap (4.10).
The form of his Brighton win has worked out well with the runner-up winning in better company at Ascot next time, while the third home that day had earlier scored on three occasions this summer.
Straight Ash was caught close home and went down only in a photo finish at Beverley recently and the winner followed up on that same track last weekend to boost the form. The slightly longer trip this time will suit.
Selections: 2.40 Trautmann; 3.10 Royal Brave; 3.40 Crochet; 4.10 Straight Ash.