This weekend the ITV cameras concentrate on the jumps meeting at Haydock and the the flat meeting at Musselburgh. Neither meeting looks that it will set the racing world on fire so I will only provide a short write-up and put forward my thoughts on the 1000 and 2000 Guineas to be run at the beginning of May.
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As to Saturday’s racing fixtures, the Haydock meeting is their penultimate fixture over the jumps for the season and they look for a busy Easter Saturday with the the Challenger Series of races. These races are designed to provide a boost to owners and trainers of mid-tier jump horses and Northen Jump Racing in general, and are not the most exciting offerings for the racegoer. That is why Haydock makes it into a real family day out with a circus atmosphere and rides for the children. But I will give it a miss for punting purposes and move my attention to the flat meeting at Musselburgh that has some decent prize money on on offer.
They start with the Easter Handicap at 1.50 and Garry Moss sends Porth Swtan to reprise his victory at the beginning of the month at the Scottish course. He gives the second that day, Raselasad, 3lbs but should still confirm the placings. The main danger could come from Parys Mountain, Tim Easterby’s classy grey makes his seasonal reappearance after finishing last year with two victories. The Royal Mile Handicap is off at 2.25 and Hugo Palmer has On The Line here, who has been running well on the all-weather and returned to turf earlier this month. That was at Redcar where he ran on strongly going down by just a length to Absolutio. His main contender looks to be Politicise, William Haggas’s horses are in a rich vein of form at the moment and this young gelding is hoping to start his season on a high. The Scottish Sprint Cup is at 3.00 and this handicap has attracted a strong field Mokaatil is the current favourite on the strength of his win at Pontefract last time out where he was best in a very close finish. A Momentofmadness is an early season campaigner, winning races in these early months over the last three years and I’m sure Charles Hills will have him ready for this. I must also mention the 2017 winner of this race Line Of Reason who will get the going he wants to try and reprise his victory. Finally we have the Queens Cup at 3.35 and I really like the look of Austrian School. Mark Johnston’s colt started last season with two victories and has not been out of the frame in his last seven starts. Ulster looks interesting but is having his first run on turf after his successes on the all-weather.
Saturday Lucky 15 (Musselburgh)
1.50 Porth Swtan
2.25 On The Line
3.00 A Momentofmadness
3.35 Austrian School
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