Saturday Races: Play the Game

Some competitive racing across the country today on the brink of Royal Ascot week.

Musselburgh provides one of Scotland’s leading race days with the Scottish Sprint Cup (1510 BST) providing the highlight.

The straight course at Musselburgh is actually slightly kinked, and without being dogmatic, it tends to favour high drawn horses.  It is also very quick, so front runners often do well.

The favourite is hold up horse Duke Of Firenze, and whilst he’s in great form, he will need a lot of luck if he gets trapped in from his stands side rail draw.

Trainer Paul Midgley sends 3 runners, and whilst the market favours course winner Desert Law, his low draw is not ideal.  We thinks Midgley could cause a surprise through outsider Gamesome.

He is always consistent – and his run over this course last year leaves him hugely well off at the weights with a few of these.  His fast finishing 6th at York last time was pretty good, and a draw in stall 15 should give him a great chance to find a prominent position, and strike from just behind the pace.  The odds are too long.

Over at York (1420), a big field tackle the 7f handicap.  A high draw can be a disadvantage here, a fact probably factored into the odds of Shady McCoy who is drawn 16.  We aren’t so put off.  This horse is at his best when held up off a strong pace, so James Doyle is likely to drop him in at the rear anyway.

We’ll be hoping for a very strong pace in this big field.  When Shady got that at Ascot he ran an excellent 4th in a stronger race than this.  He didn’t get the same pace last time but still showed a glimpse of his form.  Conditions may just suit him today and he looks overpriced.


Shady McCoy (1420 York), 1pt win, 10/1 generally available

Gamesome (1510 Musselburgh), 1pt win, 14/1 generally available 

Shady McCoy & Gamesome, 0.5pts each way double

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