3.35pm Musselburgh Tips & Betting Preview 15/04/2017

Although he flopped badly in the Triumph Hurdle at the Festival, Soldier In Action is likely to be much more competitive returned to Mark Johnston and back on the flat. Prior to his good runs over hurdles, he won a competitive handicap at Goodwood in October, drawing right away from the second and he didn’t quite look himself when well beaten at Doncaster in the November handicap. He remains on the same mark as that run but as proven by his hurdling runs, he should improve for the step up in trip for this race and his ground versatility is a big plus. The Johnston yard are going brilliantly at present, as is rider Franny Norton, so he looks likely to go very close.

With only four runs under his belt for John Patrick Shanahan, The Tartan Spartan (each way)  is thoroughly unexposed and not one to discount under Sam Hitchcott. He won in good style on debut at Thirsk in April 2016 and ran a good race in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, finishing seventh and running on strongly towards the finish. He was always facing a huge task in the St Leger at Doncaster in September so that effort is best ignored, especially as his effort in the Noel Murless Stakes was far form a disgrace. Pitched into his first handicap off a mark of 94, he has huge scope for progress and could be the dark horse in the contest, with any amount of improvement possible this season. He does have to overcome a 197 day absence, but he is an intriguing runner nonetheless down in class and looks well worthy of a bet today.

Meanwhile, Shrewd has been very well backed all week for the Iain Jardine stable and someone seems to think he has a better chance than the bare form implies. His last two starts have been over two and a quarter miles and include a twelfth of thirty-thre in the Cesarewich but he has won over this trip own good ground at York but that was off a handicap rating a full twelve pounds lower that he has to carry today. The trip track and going do all look suitable for the son of Street Sense and his trainer has had four winners from his last nine runners for a 44% success rate and close to twenty points of profit, and he may well be capable of challenging for a place if race fit returning from six months off the track.

Although disappointing on his two runs towards the end of last season, Montaly had showed good form prior and should be capable of getting competitive on seasonal reappearance. He was a close second in a big field handicap at Haydock in September, running on strongly but just failing to reel in the leader. He was last seen in the November Handicap at Doncaster where he was unable to be a factor, always towards the rear and screaming out for further. He returns from 161 days off the track on a mark of 99, which is only 5lb above his mark when a close second in the Haydock handicap, so surely he can get involved if fully revved up under Oisin Murphy. He’d like this to be a stamina test as he can go much further, so there would have to be some concern that perhaps he’ll be running on when it’s just too late.

A rapidly improving commodity throughout the winter for Mark Johnston, Isharah is more than capable of a big run returned to the turf. He has been running brilliantly this year, winning three straight races and despite his mark rising 13lb since December 30th, he put up a bold display at Lingfield when last seen to finish a close second behind seasoned stayer First Mohican. There was absolutely no disgrace in defeat to the Cesarewitch second and he has only been raised 2lb on the back of that effort, so he could continue his progress now returned to the turf. There has to be a slight concern about the fact he’s yet to win on the turf from five runs, but he has improved markedly since those runs so should be capable of much better. PJ McDonald takes the ride and he should be going close.

With only four runs under his belt for John Shanahan, The Tartan Spartan is thoroughly unexposed and not one to discount under Sam Hitchcott. He won in good style on debut at Thirsk in April 2016 and ran a good race in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot, finishing seventh and running on strongly towards the finish. He was always facing a huge task in the St Leger at Doncaster in September so that effort is best ignored, especially as his effort in the Noel Murless Stakes was far form a disgrace. Pitched into his first handicap off a mark of 94, he has huge scope for progress and could be the dark horse in the contest, with any amount of improvement possible this season. He does have to overcome a 197 day absence, but he is an intriguing runner nonetheless down in class.

 

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