RENFREWSHIRE trainer Jim Goldie has an outstanding record at Musselburgh, both on the flat and over jumps and can saddle Arctic Court to win there tomorrow when a bumper crowd is expected for Saints and Sinners Charity day.
With free entry, more than 4000 tickets have already been snapped up and racecourse boss Bill Farnsworth feels that around 6000 people may turn up for the event, which is in aid of Victim Support Scotland.
Although all three of Arctic Court’s career wins have come north of the Border, he has yet to score on the East Lothian track. However, he has run with credit here on several occasions. Goldie has entered him for a valuable Grade Three race at Haydock at the end of this month, so I expect a bold showing in the I & H Brown Handicap Hurdle (3.05) tomorrow, even though the gelding has not raced since May.
He was far from disgraced although unplaced in a competitive handicap hurdle over 2m here last Hogmanay and was then seventh in the Scottish County Hurdle on this track before finishing fourth over a longer trip at Ayr and then winning a photo finish at Kelso in April.
That was over 2m 7F and he was ridden by Denis O’Regan, so it is worth noting that Goldie has booked that southern-based rider again, while Arctic Court tackles 3m tomorrow and runs off a mark only 4lb higher than when successful last spring.
He can carry the green and yellow colours of Dunbar-based owner Raymond Anderson Green to victory and initiate a double for O’Regan, who can end the day by taking the Shepherd & Wedderburn National Hunt Flat Race (4.05) on Ronnie Lawson.
The four-year-old is trained near Newmarket by John Ferguson and makes his racecourse bow here, but is bred for this game. His dam was a winning chaser and his older half-brother won three of his first five races over timber.
James Reveley landed a major prize over fences in Paris last week. He has several rides here tomorrow, best of which may prove to be Robbie. The gelding is trained by James’s father Keith and has won five of 15 starts since finishing runner-up in a bumper on his racecourse debut here almost exactly four years ago. He was fourth in a similar event afterwards, but has not run at Musselburgh since then.
His first three hurdle wins came at Southwell and he scored again over timber at Doncaster just before last Christmas, but had his attentions turned to fences last spring. The nine-year-old was third on his chasing debut at Kelso before winning at Huntingdon, where the rider reported that his fencing had improved considerably.
Robbie makes his reappearance in the Scoban Novices Handicap Chase (2.00) after 190 days on the sidelines, but he goes well fresh and will have the decent ground he needs to show his best.
Mulligan’s Man won his first four races over hurdles last year after joining Donald McCain, but has yet to score over fences. However, he has been placed in six of his eight starts over the larger obstacles and his turn can come in the Lawrence Smith & Son Handicap Chase (3.35). The gelding has been runner-up twice at Perth, at Bangor and at Hexham this term, jumps well and may well find the step up to 2½m just what he needs.
Joe’s Musselburgh selections: 2.00 Robbie; 3.05 Arctic Court; 3.35 Mulligan’s Man; 4.05 Ronnie Lawson.