Cheltenham may have been forced to abandon their New Year’s Day meeting, but there’s still plenty of action to get stuck into as 2021 begins.
There are meetings due across the UK and Ireland and it’s to Musselburgh for our tipster, with selections in all six races at the Scottish venue. Racing is from 12.45pm-3.35pm and you can watch all the action via live streaming when logged into MansionBet.
12.45 – Betway First Foot Juvenile Hurdle (1m7½f)
Having attained a rating of 80 on the Flat (three-time winner in that sphere for Mark Johnston) FIVEANDTWENTY justified strong market support for what amounted to a faultless start to his hurdling career for Donald McCain with smooth C&D success in early December.
He’s going to be hard to stop. Kings Creek won last time out but perhaps hurdling newcomer Ajax Tavern might be one for the a place at a decent price.
Selection: Fiveandtwenty @
1.20 – Betway Handicap Hurdle (2m4f)
He was progressive last season, counting a course success amongst his achievements when scoring in two of three starts, and Tom Lacey’s SEBASTOPOL can get back on the upgrade now. He ran well enough in a Listed Newbury handicap on his return and now drops in class having also been eased 2lb by the assessor. He also looks very much like he’s ready to try this longer trip.
Selection: Sebastopol @
1.55 – Betway Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle (2m)
Proschema was a late defection from this race and it might see the price shorten on MANUCCI but he’s fancied to go well in any case. The Nathaniel gelding was a Flat winner in 2019 before he scored on his second hurdles start at Fontwell (2m1½f, soft) on Boxing Day last year.
He also saw the back of Goshen (twice) and Grand Roi in what was a promising campaign. He may have an odd quirk, but he won on the all-weather at Chelmsford in October and has potential for better than a mark of 124 now starting out for new trainer Tim Vaughan.
Selection: Manucci @
2.30 – Betway Casino Handicap Chase (3m)
He was a C&D winner last season for his old yard and OSCAR CEREMONY made a pleasing start to life with Brian Ellison when runner-up at Newcastle (2m4f, good) in November.
He had no answer to the winner there but that form is solid and, back up in distance, he should be sharper for it. He’s just 2lb above his previous win-mark and Danny McMenamin’s claim leave him nicely placed.
Selection: Oscar Ceremony @
3.05 – Betway ‘Auld Reekie’ Handicap Chase (2m4f)
A typically open renewal of the ‘Auld Reekie’ with last year’s third Cool Mix and the relatively unexposed Paul Nicholls contender Red Risk capable, if putting a below-par run at Market Rasen behind.
FANZIO however has been in good health since a wind op in the summer with wins at Uttoxeter and Stratford on his CV over similar trips. He was touched off at Taunton last month by a rival plummeting in the ratings and can be competitive once more.
Selection: Fanzio @
3.35 – Betway Heed Your Hunch Handicap Hurdle (3m)
Whiskey Lullaby should prove popular for Paul Nicholls and Bryony Frost at the end of a week that brought them Grade 1 glory in the King George. He’s making his handicap debut and sports new headgear. He’s got a definite claim but, at a much bigger price, so too might ARNICA.
He’s 0-6 over hurdle but last month’s Kelso second behind Arctic Mann was easily his best effort. He’s been nudged up 2lb but he was well clear of the third and must rate a solid each-way contender in a tricky finale.
Selection: Arnica @
*All odds correct at time of writing