Our ambassador Paul Mulrennan has a fourth calendar-year century in his not-too-distant sights and, after a good week, previews all his upcoming chances for us this weekend.
The weather has turned increasingly autumnal, which has left everyone scrambling for thicker clothes. I’m Musselburgh bound for their Saturday/Sunday double-header. Saturday’s fixture falls in the late afternoon/early evening slot.
Bobby Shaftoe (6.35pm) is probably my best ride of the weekend. He enjoyed a successful time on the AW at Newcastle earlier this year, winning three races between 1m4f and 2m. He made a good reappearance at Carlisle (off a 160-day absence), and this looks to be the right race for him. You’d like to think that he’d come on for that run, which should give him every chance of reversing placings with Marbuzet.
Hopefully, recent wind surgery can aid Bonito Cavalo (7.10pm). He’s yet to win (0-19) but has been consistent – C&D form figures 4433 – so, assuming that this little wind issue has been ironed out, he’d have a chance.
Johnny Ringo (5.25pm) makes his racecourse debut in the seven-furlong maiden. He cost €39,000 as a yearling, but other than that I don’t know a great deal about him. Lucinda Russell wouldn’t be renowned for saddling first time out juvenile winners, and a few of the others have experience to draw upon.
We’ll have to wait and see how she fares at Chester on Friday, but Jim (Goldie) has elected to declare the in-form Baez again in the feature Musselburgh Gold Cup (5.10pm) on Sunday.
The Racing League has always been good to me, so I thoroughly enjoyed notching a double with Yaaser and Sir Chauvelin at Southwell earlier in the week. My other rides - Graignes, Jordan Electrics and Fools Rush In – were also on the premises so, but for fine margins, I could have posted a five-timer!
Sir Chauvelin, a brother to Euchen Glen, is still going strong aged eleven. He has been a fine horse for Jim Goldie and Jimmy Fyffe, winning the Qatar Summer Handicap (Goodwood), the Braveheart Handicap (Hamilton; twice), the Hogmaneigh Hurdle (Musselburgh; twice) and finishing third to Withhold in the 2018 Northumberland Plate (Newcastle). He loves the all-weather, the style of racing seems to really suit, so there will be more targets to aim towards over the winter.
From a personal perspective, I am nearing 80 winners for the calendar year, so I’ll be working hard over the next three-and-a-half months to hopefully chase down a fourth century.
Trainers will confirm their running plans at the final declaration stage (Sunday) but, as things stand, I’m provisionally booked for five rides at Newcastle on Tuesday.
Child Of Lir, the winner of a mile maiden for Rebecca Menzies, could tackle the 1m2f (0-55) handicap. He hasn’t many miles on the clock and seemed to take well to Tapeta when I won on her last time.
Ed Dunlop’s Run For The Sun gave a good account of herself when runner-up on debut at Yarmouth, splitting Queen’s Guard and the odds-on favourite Dubai Treasure. She’s an interesting filly.
The focus will then immediately switch to Ayr for the three-day Western meeting. I will have plenty of rides at Scotland’s flagship Flat fixture of the year, so do look forward to updates on that score in next week’s column.
Perhaps it is written in the stars that Frankie Dettori takes the final Classic of the year, the Betfred St Leger at Doncaster. He’s picked the favourite (Arrest) who stays well and handles soft ground.
This year’s race has attracted nine runners. Aidan O’Brien saddles four, and John and Thady Gosden are responsible for another three. There was much talk about tactics and pace after the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, so it will be interesting to see what transpires in the rematch between Continuous and Gregory.
Frankie has won the St Leger six times previously, most latterly with Logician (2019). Everyone knows that seven is Frankie’s number, so perhaps we could soon have a new take on Frankie’s ‘magnificent seven.’Watch every race live from 62 British and Irish racecourses on TV, online and mobile, including The Cambridgeshire Meeting and Dubai Future Champions Festival from Newmarket, QIPCO British Champions Day from Ascot and more!
Select any odd to add a bet