Ante-Post

Saturday Antepost Tips: Back a double-figure Queen's Cup selection at Musselburgh

Poet Master
Karl Burke's Poet Master looks an exciting prospect for Musselburgh this weekend

Alan Dudman's second instalment this week standing in for Tony Calvin features three bets for Musselburgh this Saturday...


Musselburgh - 13:50: No Bet

A bit of a mixed forecast for Musselburgh this weekend and with the ground good to soft at the time of writing on Tuesday, we have to be looking at ground with ease in it for Saturday at the start of play.

I would be surprised if we start the meeting on officially good going. Four of the races from Scotland are on ITV and we will go in time order.

The 13:50 Royal Mile Handicap shies away from recent All-Weather form with only two of the entries fit from runs in the shape of Sennockian and Miguel, so it doesn't make it easy gauging how forward some yards are compared to others. But we cannot complain and we have to start from somewhere.

Richard Hannon was responsible for four of the entries with Blue Lemons, Persica, The Camden Colt and Christian David.

Hannon hasn't had a lot of runners at Musselburgh down the years but has a good strike-rate with 4-7 and three placed at 31% win and 53% placed.

Blue Lemons runs in a handicap for the first time and will suit going back up in distance after his final run of 2023 in the Horris Hill.

His The Camden Colt is the one with plenty of experience as he raced eight times as a juvenile and looks a tough sort who took his racing well. But in terms of a bet, he has to prove himself over 1m, albeit with a second at the distance with his final start - he'd raced over shorter previously.

Ice Max for Karl Burke is a tempter at 7/18.00 and it will be interesting to see how he fares for his first run since being gelded.

The 3yo won twice at Catterick last term and clearly likes a sharp track, but his overall profile was quite patchy in the handful of juvenile starts and he looked in-and-out. He was too keen on his final start over 7f at Doncaster but he'll suit the good to soft.

I cannot quite put him forward as a bet as overall it's a tricky race to call.

Musselburgh - 14:25: Back Poet Master

The Silver Arrow Handicap at 14:25 sees the remarkable Gweedore go for a hat-trick of wins in this race having scored last year and in 2022.

In an age where we see horses wrapped up in cotton wool at the top end of racing, Gweedore ran 15 times last term and 13 the season previously. For sheer toughness, he deserves a medal for Katie Scott his trainer.

He has won off 83 and 90, and now off 100 it looks a tough ask, but he's a key horse to the race as he likes a bit of cut in the ground and can make the running. Indeed, he was gifted a fairly soft lead 12 months ago to dominate.

Gwedore is a 7/18.00 shot to hold onto his crown.

Northern Express has been beaten twice by Gweedore in this and finished runner-up in 2022 and fifth in 2023. He is very consistent and held his form well last term before he signed off with a fine second in the Autumn Mile. But it's another tough ask from a mark that shot up for his consistency.

Boardman is a horse I have backed a few times in the past but only was successful once last term - when scoring at Chester over the extended 7f with a comfortable success.

He's pretty adaptable with ground conditions and starts the season off 96, but he hasn't got a great record fresh, which is the negative here. I am looking forward to seeing him more over a mile this term, though.

Poet Master is the most exciting horse with the profile to match in the field, and it's fully understandable he's in as the 5/23.50 favourite for this.

His only blip last term came at Haydock in an otherwise perfect 3yo season with three wins from four, and he really impressed when he got it right.

His final win was striking with the way he travelled at Doncaster at the St Leger meeting on good to soft ground, and won with a ton in hand off 92. He looked green in the finish and for a while seemed to be toying with the eventual third Zouky, and once asked to go and kick on, he did, despite edging across to his left.

Karl Burke said of his last term: "He'll probably be a very decent horse when he puts everything together. It will have to be black type now but the better the race, the better he'll be."

He created a big impression winning on his debut over CD last term, and while a 5/23.50 price, he has more potential than most.

Back Poet Master @ 5/23.50

Bet here

Musselburgh - 15:00: Back Jm Jungle

A bit of a mixed bag for the Scottish Sprint Cup at 15:00 with the two top weights at entries stage from 97.

There are two previous winners in the field with Silky Wilkie and Zarzyni, and those two are 4/15.00 and 15/28.50. At the prices, the latter for Zarzyni makes some appeal, but I am pretty hopeless in backing David Barron horses. Always have been.

Jm Jungle is a seriously fast horse with fine gate speed and he could be in for a good season, indeed, he had one last term and he won a good handicap at Goodwood in the summer over the minimum trip.

He's been on his travels too this winter with a nice prize at Bahrain in February and with his style of racing from the front and up with the speed, I am interested in his choices for Saturday at 4/15.00.

Back Jm Jungle @ 4/15.00

Bet here

Musselburgh - 15:35: Back Emiyn each-way

A proper Saturday Handicap with the feature Queen's Cup over 1m6f at 15:35 and this will be the big betting race of the day, and certainly one that appeals and stands up more for an each-way play.

Keep an eye on Max Vega here as he is entered for the Newcastle card on Friday and also in this, although Rossa Ryan is already booked for the Friday. He is 4/15.00 for this race so bear than in mind.

Emiyn enjoyed a good season for trainer Declan Carroll last term with a nice win at Chester from the front over the extended 1m6f.

He's not ground dependant and his jockey Zack Wheatley has ridden some canny races on him from when leading - as he can inject a burst of speed and kick on very much in the old style that Adam Kirby used to do around Lingfield.

The selection finished fifth in the race last term but was taken on for the lead and it hindered his chance. He's off a 3lb higher mark however, so it will be tough, but he's a Chester specialist so sharp tracks are a plus, and with the fact that he likes a test of speed - at 12/113.00 looks a fair each-way play.

Carroll has a fair record at the track too with 16 runners places from 47 at Musselburgh at a strike-rate of 34%. His win record is 8-47 at 17%.

Back Emiyn EW @ 12/113.00

Bet here

Haydock - 14:05: Back Skycutter

Haydock's jumps' swansong features three races on ITV for those that like to switch codes, and the trio promise to throw up some decent sized fields, although Tuesday at Haydock it was given as heavy and soft, and does make bets a bit tricky for the two other races on the card with such big fields and plans to be firmed up.

The 14:05 Challenger Two Mile Hurdle Series Final Handicap Hurdle over 2m has Brentford Hope in as the top weight from 140 and with a win last time (where it took a while for him to shrug off his nearest pursuer), he's the market leader at 11/43.75.

Skycutter would hold a good chance for me at 11/26.50 if he can produce a better round of jumping than was seen in the Morebattle Hurdle last time at Kelso.

He's only been with Dan Skelton a short time with four runs and with the forecast in the build-up to Saturday this week as one that promised rain, he does go well on soft and off 121 can better that, so the one bet so far at Haydock is him as I think he'll be fine if the ground is testing.

Back Skycutter @ 11/26.50

Bet here

Now read Alan's latest antepost column with an 8/1 selection for Good Friday at Newcastle


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