WE’VE been enjoying a nice spell of summer weather this week and See the Sun can leave punters beaming at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The five-year-old lines up for the £100,000 William Hill Scottish Sprint Cup (3.45) – the richest race of the year on the East Lothian track’s biggest day and he has a near perfect draw in this five furlong dash.
The gelding is in the No.15 stall, just two from the favoured stands rail and is chasing a hat-trick having won both his races so far this term.
He made a successful reappearance when leading all the way at Doncaster in April and then took a competitive sprint at the big York meeting last month.
Those two successes were both over 6F and two of his three other career victories have come over that trip too, but he possesses bags of pace. I don’t expect him to lead early speedsters like last year’s winner Red Baron and Kimberella in the line-up, but he has a high cruising speed and will be staying on strongly in the final furlong.
A 7000 guineas yearling, he has proved a bargain with a prize money haul of £112,000 and he was far from disgraced in this event 12 months ago when finishing eighth from a poor draw on the far side of the track.
Forced to race wide throughout, he was beaten seven lengths behind Red Baron who is in the line-up again and will be a popular choice amongst many of the 10,000 crowd set to turn out for Ladies’ Day.
This time though it is Red Baron who has a poor draw and he now races off a 7lb higher mark.
Fast Track and Confessional filled the places last year and turn out again. Confessional bounced back to his best form when winning at Goodwood last Sunday and has crept in at the foot of the weights.
But the nine-year-old, who is a stable companion of See the Sun, has a wide draw and that may prove impossible to overcome.
Kimberella was just beaten in a valuable sprint at Epsom and has what looks a perfect draw next to the stands rail. But the Dandy Nicholls trained gelding fluffed the start badly last week and cannot afford to do that again.
Duke of Firenze was a close third at Epsom and had earlier won well at York, so must be respected while the veteran Tangerine Trees had form at the top level in his younger days.
His 15 career wins include the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye and he has scored twice on this track in recent seasons. The 11-year-old changed stables this spring and recaptured winning form at Nottingham on his first run for his new connections. He has a low weight and a good draw, so looks sure to give Tranent-born jockey Andrew Mullen a great ride, but See the Sun gets my vote.
Those two recent successes have seen the gelding go up 11lb in the ratings, but trainer Tim Easterby puts up apprentice Rachel Richardson and her 5lb allowance can make the difference.
Stanghow could be a progressive sprinter and can follow up a recent win at Pontefract by taking the consolation race – the William Hill Scottish Tartan Trophy (3.10).
The four-year-old has a 6lb penalty, but all three of career wins have come over the minimum trip and I felt he won a shade comfortably recently despite getting home by a short head.
He had earlier run well at Wetherby and it is worth noting that he netted two victories in quick succession at around this time last summer.
Mark Johnston is doing well with his juveniles and can take the opening Madeleine Cup Maiden Stakes (2.00) with Katebird.
This 35,000 guineas yearling showed promise when fourth on her debut at Doncaster and then led for a long way when runner-up at Catterick. That early speed and her experience will stand her in good stead this time.
Sisyphus opened his winning account over two miles of this track a month ago and then hung badly when disappointing at York, but he ran much better when second back here a fortnight ago.
That was over one and three quarter miles and the step back up in trip should help in the Stobo Castle Ladies Day Gold Cup (2.35).
Selections: 2.00 Katebird; 2.35 Sisyphus; 3.10 Stanghow; 3.45 See the Sun