Musselburgh Friday tips: Let the cash flow by backing Kupa River
Kupa River has been in fine form this spring and can make his fitness tell to land another victory at Musselburgh tomorrow.
The gelding was favourite when runner-up twice at Wolverhampton in January, but recouped those losses by going one better on the Midlands track in March. All those races were over six furlongs, but he followed up over an extra furlong when switched to turf at Leicester a month ago.
Then came a disappointing run at Ripon, a slow start putting him on the back foot from flag fall and in the circumstances he did well to finish seventh, beaten just over three lengths.
He again ran well when third at Wetherby on Sunday when a wide draw did not help.
The five-year-old runs off the same mark in the Calum Logan Happy 30th Birthday Handicap (4.35) when smart apprentice Ben Sanderson will again claim a handy 3lbs allowance.
Zeshov loves the East Lothian track and three of his seven career wins have come here. Stand by for another in the Weatherbys Stallion Book Handicap (2.55).
The gelding was returning from a near five month winter break when unplaced at Newcastle in March, where he gradually weakened after racing prominently and it was a similar tale back on turf at Nottingham in April.
But a much better effort came on this track a fortnight ago when he was beaten just a length and a half into fourth place after being short of room in the home straight.
All his wins have come over 7F or a mile and he tackles an extra furlong tomorrow, but the evidence of that latest effort suggests he can make it over the longer trip, especially in a small field when the pace is unlikely to be particularly hectic.
Stronsay failed to win in his first season, but was runner-up twice and his reappearance effort at Beverley recently suggests that a first success is just around the corner.
He was having a first run since October on the Yorkshire track, but came to challenge entering the final quarter of a mile and it was only on the stiff climb to the line that he faded into sixth place.
The three-year-old has dropped a couple of pounds in the ratings in the Weatherbys Stallions Global App Handicap (4.00) in which he has only a handful of opponents.
Mark Johnston has a good record at the seaside venue, has his juveniles in good form and can take the opening Quest Precision Engineering Novice Stakes (1.55) with Main Reef.
The youngster makes his debut, but is a well-bred son of top sprinter Pivotal and cost 62,000gns as a yearling. His dam won at Group 3 level and there are several classy performers in his pedigree, so he certainly looks the part on paper.
Selections: 1.55 Main Reef; 2.55 Zeshov; 4.00 Stronsay; 4.35 Kupa River.