SERENITY NOW has been mixing flat and hurdling with great success in recent months and looks set to continue the good run at Musselburgh tomorrow.
Brian Ellison’s mare has scored twice on the flat and twice over timber from just seven starts since mid-summer and can make the trip from her Yorkshire base pay off.
Her successful stint began with a victory over hurdles at Hexham in mid-June and she obliged on the level at Redcar the following month where she got up in the last stride to win by a nose before completing the hat-trick at Southwell.
That was on the all-weather surface over which she had been second twice in the spring and she is certainly paying her way. The seven-year-old was then a close second at Nottingham in August and fifth at Epsom before reverting to hurdles early last month at Hexham where she was sent off favourite but could finish only third, beaten just over a length.
But she was back to winning ways just five days later at Towcester where she stormed up the hill to lead approaching the final flight and was soon clear. Stable conditional Craig Gallagher has been on board for both those hurdle victories and will again claim a very handy 7lbs allowance tomorrow. Ellison had her entered in two races tomorrow, but has plumped to saddle her in the Miller Homes Scotland Handicap Hurdle (2.00).
Ellison can complete a double with Sand Blast in the concluding Download the Racing UK App National Hunt Flat Race (4.00) in which the gelding will be one of the most experienced runners in the line-up.
The four-year-old was bred by Juddmonte and is closely related to three flat winners, including at Group race level while his dam hails from a top-class family. He was too backward to run on the level and cost just £10,000 as an unraced three-year-old, but could prove a bargain. There was bags of promise when second on his debut at Catterick in February where he was sent off favourite and was doing all his best work at the finish before finishing runner-up again in a competitive affair at Newbury later that same month.
The latter form looks particularly strong as the winner went on to take a Listed bumper at Aintree, so Sand Blast is confidently expected to go one better.
Kodicil has won on the flat, over hurdles and over fences and when he won on the level at Nottingham, he beat Serenity Now, so victory for that one earlier in the afternoon would be a pointer to his chances in the Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Chase (3.30).
Since that success, Kodicil has opened his account over the larger obstacles at Uttoxeter where he made much of the running and jumped really well for one with just four chase efforts under his belt. He likes to force the pace and should be suited by this track.
Present Flight can give Fife trainer Lucinda Russell another Musselburgh success in the Thistle Systems Max Cube Limited Handicap Chase (2.30).
The gelding was having a first outing since February when winning a novice handicap chase over three miles at Kelso in October and may have found the shorter trip against him when runner-up at Hexham just six days later.
Musselburgh selections: 2.00 Serenity Now; 2.30 Present Flight; 3.30 Kodicil; 4.00 Sand Blast.