Today our focus is on the Scottish Sprint Cup at Musselburgh (3.00) where we take two against the field CAPTAIN COLBY and ORNATE. This is one of the big sprint handicaps of the season, and while it used to be staged after the famous Epsom Dash, this new setting earlier in the season looks better, giving trainers a target to aim for that bit sooner.
Paul Midgely is a master trainer of sprinters, he seems to have a real gift with these exciting speed merchants, and I'm going with one of his three runners in this today Captain Colby. A recent run over course and distance should help blow the cobwebs away and tee him up nicely for this. He is a track and trip winner from last October beating the very useful Tarboosh in the process and any reproduction of that form will see him right in the firing line today. He goes particularly well for classy 3 lbs. claimer Ben Robinson, and this is the Captain's second run since wind surgery.
ORNATE is a classy and consistent operator, with six career victories and just as many very near misses. He won over this minimum trip at Newmarket on Thursday, leading early at Headquarters and hanging on gamely.
It's a quick turnaround for sure, but good sprinters can race as often as they like really, and he has a good record in this regard. Back in his days with Robert Cowell, he scored at Newmarket just a couple of days after finishing a close up fifth to the classy Take Cover - ironically now a stablemate - in a hot Listed contest at York. He has the mandatory 5 lbs. rise to contend with but he's still running off 99 having won before off 110! He really enjoyed himself bowling along in front at Newmarket on Thursday and the ground drying out at Musslebrugh is ideal.
Nicely drawn in 13, he has regular partner Phil Dennis aboard and his trainer David Griffiths excels with sprinters as we saw with the aforementioned Take Cover. As we might expect this is a red hot contest, with recent scorer Mokaatil, Savalas and Saaheqobvious contenders, while A Momentofmadness or Copper Knight need no introduction either. And that's before we even mention Captain Colby's stablemates Final Venture and Line Of Reason.
But Ornate and Captain Colby are primed to perfection and sure to figure prominently at the business end.
1/2 Point Each Way Captain Colby (14/1 Betfair SB, PaddyPower & William Hill, all 5 places)
1/2 Point Each Way Ornate (12/1 Paddy Power 5 places)
Ornate is a non-runner (Reason: Self Cert Off Colour)
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