Alan is staying in Scotland for his two selections today, with a couple of interesting mounts for Noel Fehily in races that could help clear the waters a bit for the Cheltenham Festival in March...
"After only three career starts, there is a big chance that he will be progressive and returns to hurdles today to make his handicap debut off a mark of 140"
I am going with another Harry Fry and Noel Fehily runner at Musselburgh as my best bet for the second day in a row. Mr Fry and Mr Fehily let me down yesterday, when the once again well backed Drumcliff failed to deliver, but I am going to stick with them and give them another chance with Wotzizname in this Pertemps qualifier for the festival in March. The seven-year-old was an easy winner of his two novice hurdles last season and then more recently in his first start over fences wasn't disgraced when second behind the well rated (145) Arpege D'Alene in a novice chase. After only three career starts, there is a big chance that he will be progressive and returns to hurdles today to make his handicap debut off a mark of 140, he could be hard to beat.
This isn't an easy race to win and it is quite a an open renewal with some decent types in it. but the one that might give Wotzizname the most to do is the Nicky Henderson runner Cup Final, who won this race last year, off a 14lb lower mark, today he is off a career high mark of 146. That lofty figure and the fact that he hasn't run for 283 days are the reasons I can't be backing him today, but that's not to say I wouldn't favour him over Wotzizname if the two met again in March in the final.
Once again, I can't get away from a Noel Fehily mount (he also has a great chance in the 15:10 on Baltimore Rock), he will think I am stalking him - but Peter The Mayo Manlooks to have an outstanding chance in this Supreme Scottish Trial that might give us some pointers to help unravel the opening race of the Festival. The winner of his last three races on the bounce by a cumulative 29 lengths, he was especially impressive on his last start where he won by eleven lengths, and didn't appear to even use all his gears to do so over two miles. All fur of his wins have come on goof ground and Neil Mulholland's charge will relish the ground at Musselburgh.
Lough Derg Spirit is the obvious danger he just about made all on his hurdling debut at Kempton in November, never putting a foot wrong over two miles in soft ground. I think the softer conditions probably helped him that day as it turned into a true test of stamina and I think he will be better suited by a longer trip. He has winning form over three miles from his point to point days, I fear he may find this all a bit too quick for him today.
2017 Overall (prior to this week): +6.95 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 4 pts
Returned: 0.00 pts