Musselburgh muscles in alongside Cheltenham on ITV’s New Year’s Day schedule and those tuning in might see a royal winner.
The track stages two £31,400 handicaps, one chase and one hurdle race, and Charlie Longsdon is optimistic of picking up some of that prize-money with the Queen’s Forth Bridge, who runs in the former (1.40).
By top-class dirt ace and Preakness winner Bernardini, Forth Bridge was not bred for chasing, but he relishes his trips to the outskirts of Edinburgh, where his record reads 112.
Longsdon, who trains 347 miles from the course in Oxfordshire, said: “He likes Musselburgh and he’s got quite a good track record there. It’s a competitive race, but there’s great prize-money so you’d be foolish not to look at it.
“He’s still a maiden over fences, but he’s been bang there most of the time and there’s no reason why he won’t be bang there again. His form’s worked out and I can see him running extremely well.”
Forth Bridge’s rivals include the dangerous-looking Mixboy, whose trainer Keith Dalgleish also has claims in the 1m7½f handicap hurdle (2.15) with Chica Buena, who has won four on the spin, the last of which was a Listed event at Aintree.
Her opposition includes Night Of Glory, who used to run in the colours of late Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, but is now with the Alba-Eire Syndicate.
Trainer Iain Jardine, who also has a share in Night Of Glory, said: “I think he’s a nice horse, and he won a juvenile hurdle on heavy ground for Andrew Balding. We’ve trained him away quietly and he goes well.
“He’s lazy, but that’s a good sign and he could be all right. It’s a competitive race, but we’re taking 7lb off with Bruce Lynn’s claim and I think he’s got a nice chance. It’s just a question of whether he’s got more to come or he is what he’s rated.”
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