Race Time: 2.55pm Meeting: Musselburgh Distance: 1m
Full Race Name: Totequadpot Royal Mile Handicap (Bobis Race) (Class 2)
Our tip for the 2.55pm Musselburgh live on Channel 4 Racing is:
Both Mark Johnston and Richard Fahey are two-handed in the Royal Mile Handicap for three-year-olds at Musselburgh. Johnston’s Mister Universe has been assigned the top weight of all 11 runners whilst his stablemate Chadic wears blinkers for the first time as he looks to end a losing streak of five runs that has seen him fall slowly through both the grade and class classifications.
The former put in a game performance when just missing out on second place by a neck in the listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury last time out. That race was taken by Andrew Balding’s exciting looking Elm Park who has gone on to take the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket and Doncaster’s Group One Racing Post Trophy. Whilst Mister Universe is running off his new mark of 97 for the first time, this could be very interesting form.
A fellow front-runner is the Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum charge, Chadic, who last season lined up for Goodwood’s Group Two Vintage Stakes. Whilst he, at the peak of his powers, crossed swords with many exciting prospects, he failed to get on terms with any of them. Even when the quality of his rivals began to drop, the Echo Of Light-sired charge failed to mount any sort of serious challenge.
Fahey is represented by Arcano Gold and Spring Offensive. One of four distance winners in the race, the former has been placed on three of his last four outings in big fields. The Middleham Park Racing runner will also be suited by the expected cut in the ground after coming a neck from taking a 7f class three at Doncaster on soft before taking the plaudits in a 8f race on good at Nottingham. Whilst this is another step up in class for this progressive looking type, he looks nicely weighted to make his mark on the race on his first seasonal outing.
Spring Offensive is one of the least experienced of the eleven strong field having only made three racetrack appearances with this outing being his first at a mile. This distance shouldn’t be a problem however, as the Fahey horse looked capable of further improvement when seeing off the favourite Indelible Ink by over a length in a Redcar 7f class five. He was then unlucky to lose out to Invincible Gold when running on eagerly at York, four horses being involved in a bunch finish over the same distance. John Quinn’s Royal Mile entrant Moonlightnavigator was over a length behind and will have to show improvement closing out races to reverse the form. In another first for Spring Offensive, he will also be ridden by Patrick Mathers whilst also making his debut on good-to-soft ground.
It is, however, William Haggas’ Tadqeeq who is expected to go off the favourite, the horse looking to follow in the footsteps of stablemate Bilimbi who took the title last year. Tadqeeq will be suited by the conditions though will be taking a small step up in distance and a potential leap in quality, with the added concern that the Haggas yard are hardly firing in all the winners as yet (just the one winner at the time of writing since the flat season began), but they are a very shrewd yard who have got the son of Makfi in here off a low rating and bottom weight which could yet make all the difference?