2.15pm Musselburgh Tips & Betting Preview 14/12/2016

Nine horses line up for today’s feature race at Musselburgh, a Juvenile Hurdle over the minimum trip of 1m7f. Read on for our experts’ thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: With Cape Glory a likely non-runner after running at Catterick yesterday this looks to be at the mercy of FORT BRIDGE who ran really well on his first start for Charlie Longsdon and granted to improve for that, he should be tough to beat under the magnificent Brian Hughes who continues to ride plenty of winners. Of the others, Becky The Thatcher looks to hold the best chance given he is already a winner in this sphere and he may just get close enough to the favourite to make a race of it.

1 Cape Of Glory – Good form on the AW with two back-to-back wins earlier this year at Chelmsford and Lingfield up to 1m3f in Class 4 and 5 Handicaps. Scored in ready fashion when a length winner of a Class 4 juvenile hurdle at Musselburgh (Good) last month over this trip and three lengths third but well beaten in his bid to follow up yesterday in a similar race. NON-RUNNER.

2 Aislabie – Only showed moderate form on the flat with his best run coming in a Class 5 handicap at Newcastle on final start in that sphere last month. Hard to know where he would have ended up given he was tracking the leaders when making a mistake and unseating his rider 2 out on his hurdling debut in a Grade 4 at Catterick two weeks ago. Should be able to show his true colours if cutting out any errors this time around but well held on flat form against the favourite.

3 Angel In The Snow – Haafd gelding who is related to bumper winner Endless Intrigue. Dam was a winner up to 1¾m. Didn’t really show much in four flat runs at Class 5 and 6 level but some improvement when third and then fourth on his last two starts at Newcastle in large Class 6 events. Makes hurdles debut here and held on flat form.  Best watched for now for in-form yard unless market vibes are positive.

4 Forth Bridge – Bernardini gelding who had good form on the flat for Michael Bell, winning at Haydock on his third try upped to 1m6f in a Class 2 handicap at York in August. Made an encouraging start last month in a Class 5 juvenile hurdle at Wetherby (Soft) over 2m when just being pipped on the flat by an improver from the Alan King yard. Pulled well clear of third that day and his superior flat exploits should stand him in good stead here against this bunch. Tough to beat.

5 Mr Grumpy – Sir Percy gelding who was previously with Keith Dalgleish and related to the useful hurdler Hot Diamond. Fair form on the flat in five runs including a ready three-length winner at Ripon (Good) in June in a Class 5 handicap over 1m1f. Has joined Lucinda Russell who sends him hurdling straight away suggesting he might be showing good signs at home. Best watched unless the money comes for him.

6 Rosarios – Alexandros gelding who showed moderate form on the flat when trained in France. Made hurdling debut at Newcastle (Soft) in a Class 2 juvenile event and well-beaten in fourth at 66/1. Didn’t show much in that run to suggest he can win here.

7 Royal Reserve – Duke of Marmalade gelding previously trained by William Muir. Won a Class 4 maiden at Salisbury (Good) last Autumn over 7f and followed up two runs later when a ready winner of a Class 4 handicap at Lingfield in April. Patchy form since, mainly on turf, and interesting to see how he fares here given his pedigree. Market likely to determine how good his chance is and best watched for now.

8 Warp Factor – Scored at Ripon on his eighth start, narrowly winning a Class 5 maiden over 1m1f by ¾ length in August. Upped in grade next time out and ran a shocker in a Class 3 at Doncaster then dropped in grade repeated the dose at Leicester when only seventh of 13. Interesting his connections send him here after unseating his rider on hurdles debut at Downpatrick last month and has a lot to prove in this.

9 Becky The Thatcher – Showed only moderate form on the flat but could do nothing but win in decisive fashion when picking up a Class 4 juvenile hurdle over 2m here (Good/Soft) 30 days ago. This looks a much stronger race but should continue to improve down slightly in trip and can make a race of it for the favorite if close enough at the business end of the race. Solid place chance.



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