THE Scottish Sprint Cup takes centre stage at Musselburgh on Saturday and it promises to be a mad dash to the line.
There’s also plenty of other intriguing sprint contests so plenty to get stuck into.
Race 1 – 1:50 Silver Arrow Handicap
Plenty of horses taking each other on once again here with four of today’s field back to do battle against each other once again.
PORT SWTAN came out and landed his first run for new trainer Garry Moss over this course and distance earlier this month. That day he had Raselasad (2nd), Hayadh (3rd) and Three Saints Bay (4th) all behind him.
That was a decent performance and he has made himself at home in this class, a 3lb rise may not be enough to stop him.
His main danger could come from a new rival in Lake Volta who has dropped back to his last winning mark – when he bolted up in a Listed contest at Epsom last season.
He may be inconsistent but he has some smart form to his name and it would be no surprise to see him in the finish.
That said, Port Swtan looks the one to beat and should make his fitness count. For the placings, Commander Han steadily improved last year and looks the type to step up again this season.
VERDICT: 1st. Port Swtan 2nd. Lake Volta 3rd. Commander Han
Race 2 – 2:25 Royal Mile Handicap
A trappy little contest with a few here in with a chance.
Howzer Black was kept busy as a two-year-old and has put in two good performances so far this season on the all-weather. He has fitness on his side but is vulnerable to a a couple of his unexposed rivals.
On The Line has improved since a wind op and has appreciated being back at this trip, although it was slightly disappointing he couldn’t get the job done last time out.
Politicise makes his handicap debut off a mark of 85 and that could be lenient. He’s been gelded since last season and trainer William Haggas has started the season well.
But the one to side with could be Mark Johnston’s REGGAE RUNNER.
Another handicap debutante, he improved quickly over his three maiden runs this year, winning his last start at Lingfield.
If he translates that form to the turf then he could prove hard to pass.
VERDICT: 1st. Reggae Runner 2nd. Politicise 3rd. On The Line
Race 3 – 3:00 Scottish Sprint Cup
The feature race of the day looks an absolute cracker with plenty of familiar names reappearing.
Mokaatil heads the market following his narrow win at Pontefract on Monday where he got up in the final stride.
However, he has an inconsistent record and will find life much tougher today under a penalty.
Saaheq has looked a different horse since joining Mick Appleby last year and a repeat of his best form would put him right in this and the same can be said about Harome who was impressive when winning at York in July but has failed to match that since.
Royal Brave goes particularly well here and can hope for a place especially as he comes here fitter after blowing the cobwebs away earlier this month.
Line Of Reason also comes into this off the back of a good reappearance run and shouldn’t be underestimated.
A Momentofmadness has some classy form to his name and has gone well fresh before – he should be bang there.
Captain Colby and Copper Knight can throw their weight around if things drop right but preference is for ORNATE.
David Griffiths’ six-year-old returned from a break in fine form at Newmarket and looks to be as good as ever.
He has to shoulder a penalty today, but could be more than capable considering he still looks feasibly treated on his best form.
VERDICT: 1st. Ornate 2nd. A Momentofmadness 3rd. Royal Brave
Race 4 – 3:35 Queen’s Cup Stakes
We head straight from a five-furlong dash to a 1m6f staying contest!
It seems right to start with the market leader AUSTRIAN SCHOOL who was incredible frustrating last year running consistently well without getting his head in front.
However, some of his form that season is head and shoulders above a few of these rivals and the fact he has gone well after a break before bodes well.
Sir Chauvelin was never in the race on his reappearance but he can do better than that now at a more suitable trip, while Ulster must prove he is just as good on turf.
Making Miracles is a quirky character but benefited from an inspired ride when beating Austrian School last season.
He should be kept in mind as should another Mark Johnston runner Lucky Deal who should have more to offer this season.
Kelly’s Dino has some decent form to his name but I’m not so sure he wants this step up in trip.
VERDICT: 1st. Austrian School 2nd. Sir Chauvelin 3rd. Lucky Deal
Race 5 – 4:05 Like Racing TV On Facebook Handicap
Small but select field here with two last time out winners in Ventura Gold and Mont Kinabalu.
The latter has crept into his best form this season and got up to win at Pontefract while Ventura Gold prevailed by a neck at Leicester on his last start.
Both have obvious claims and are expected to head the market but MULLIGATAWNY is interesting now back from a break with the cheekpieces back on.
This looks easier than some of his previous assignments and he can make his presence felt.
VERDICT: 1st. Mulligatawny 2nd. Mont Kinabalu 3rd. Ventura Gold
Race 6 – 4:40 Follow Racingtv On Twitter Selling Stakes
A pretty rubbish race on an otherwise decent card but CLAYTON looks a good thing.
Landed a selling hurdle at Fakenham last time out and he wouldn’t have to do anything special to land this contest.
Grand Inquisitor should be the one for the forecast.
VERDICT: 1st. Clayton 2nd. Grand Inquisitor
Race 7 – 5.15 racingtv.com Handicap
Tough contest to call this one with none of the runners boasting a recent win to their name which would put them out as a clear favourite.
Super Julius put up one of his better performances to come home second at Pontefract earlier this month and a repeat of that puts him right in this.
Suwaan goes well fresh and likes this track so holds strong claims.
But AMAZING GRAZING has been holding his form well this year and has every chance in this field.
VERDICT: 1st. Amazing Grazing 2nd. Suwaan 3rd. Super Julius
Race 8 – 5.45 racingtv.com Handicap
We finish off with the second division of the 5.15 and this race appeals plenty more.
OUR PLACE IN LOULE ended the season in fine form last year and returned with a ready win to notch up a hat-trick of course and distance wins.
He has never been out of the first three at this track and another rise in the handicap might not be enough to stop him.
Tabaahy is unexposed and made a winning start for David O’Meara at Wolverhampton earlier this month, he should be involved at the business end along with Pennsylvania Dutch who beat a big field when winning at Thirsk on his last start.
Watch the betting with Lathom who was formerly a pretty smart sprinter and makes his first start for new trainer Paul Midgley.
VERDICT: 1st. Our Place In Loule 2nd. Tabaahy 3rd. Pennsylvania Dutch