We lost Ffos Las to the elements earlier in the week but there is a seven-race jumps card at Musselburgh although the forecast for Scotland was poor on Thursday and the meeting is subject to an 8am inspection. Conditions are likely to be extremely testing if racing goes ahead.
In the 3m Handicap Chase Chanting Hill would have been the selection on decent ground despite falling five out at Newcastle when last seen in November. The each way vote, however, goes to Real Armani (1.55) who finished runner up to Ballybreen at Carlisle back in February – Cudgel who reopposes today held in third and 1lb worse off – and is entitled to come on for his satisfactory comeback run at Wetherby over a trip, arguably short of his best. Ballybreen ran a tremendous race behind Don Herbarger at Exeter earlier in the week from a 13lbs higher mark and that Carlisle form does give Jane Walton’s nine-year-old every chance in this company, The 9/1 available was too big but he is 15/2 with Boylesports who are offering 4 places.
Vision Du Puy (2.25) is a fascinating contender for the Skeltons in the 2m handicap hurdle coming back from a 405-day lay-off. The mare – 4s from 5s with William Hill – finished third behind Lady Buttons and Indefatigable in a listed contest at Wetherby back in November 2019 and I hope she can make a winning return.
Goobinator has a good engine but his hurdling remains a concern and a bigger danger is likely to come from the hat-trick seeking Tommy’s Oscar who is a winning pointer in his native Ireland but has won a couple of novice hurdles over the minimum trip including on soft ground last time. He makes his handicap debut this afternoon, but I hope the mare has a bit too much pace.
In the 2m 4f+ handicap chase Not The Chablis (3.30) finished runner up over an additional couple of furlongs here last time when he just got run out of it from two out. The drop back in trip is a plus and his latest effort was his best race yet on soft ground. Many of his rivals, like the selection, would prefer better ground but Brian Hughes takes over in the saddle in a race that will not take a great deal of winning. The selection is 5/2 from 3s with 10bet.
Four of the five runners in the 6f handicap at Lingfield ran in a Conditions event at Kempton last time and the horse who finished last of six on that occasion Streamline (2.35) can reverse the form with that run under his belt.
The selection – 3s with BetVictor – was having his first start for 487-days when losing his unbeaten all-weather record last time – beaten 2L – when he was not knocked about by Adam Kirby but finished his race well. He faces Aberama Gold, Above and Brian The Snail on better terms back in handicap company today and I hope to see Fizzy Feet – who made all over C&D here back in February – take the selection along from stall one before Kirby pounces inside the final furlong.