Musselburgh's valuable Sunday card gets Keith Melrose's attention on Sunday.
"The Scottish County Hurdle, this year listed for the first time, has become a really attractive handicap to the particularly speedy two-mile hurdler."
13:00 - A four-runner race to start an already difficult-looking card isn't ideal. Thankfully we can weed out one- Stylish Chap- in a select field (he'd be worth considering in the vast majority of similar races), leaving The Grey Taylor, El Namoose and Some Plan.
13:30 - With speed, sound jumping and plenty of form on less-testing ground, Swaledale Lad is a good choice for this race back over fences for the first time this winter. Conditions should also be in Ifandwhybutnot's favour as he bids for a belated first win over fences (second last three starts).
14:00 - With expensive legs either side, Hargam is an oasis in this Placepot. The form of his two starts so far ties in with some useful juveniles and that places him well ahead of the likes of Starchitect, admirable though that one's been over hurdles.
14:30 - This probably comes down to the two geldings, Seventh Sky and Yorkist. We could easily take both just to be sure, but it's another leg in which being frugal could help us in the long run, so we'll side with the admirably consistent Yorkist.
15:00 - The Scottish County Hurdle, this year listed for the first time, has become a really attractive handicap to the particularly speedy two-mile hurdler. That's borne out in this field, but we'll try to get through with two. First in is Meadowcroft Boy, who shaped well from a 1 lb higher mark here on New Year's Day and whose yard has really come onto a game since. Retrieve is the ostensible Ferguson second string, but in reality AP McCoy probably couldn't do the 10st required. He certainly has the profile of one who'll go well, looking all about speed in his hurdling career so far, as you'd expect from his smart Flat form.
15:30 - They're closely-matched in this novice so we'll need two in order to be comfortable. Racing Europe is one having proved himself at the trip and then some on testing ground at Catterick. That can't be said of Uisge Beatha, but he promises to be a three-miler, bred that way and shaping in kind when winning over two and a half miles here on New Year's Day.
13:00 - 1, 2, 3
13:30 - 4, 7
14:00 - 1
14:30 - 2
15:00 - 6, 15
15:30 - 3, 4
= 24 lines