Quarrels behind the scenes mean the very future of Musselburgh is in jeopardy, but meanwhile the Scottish Riviera venue on Saturday hosts four races for ITV4 including the feature Queen’s Cup (3.35pm).

Mixboy (8/1) started running on the Flat in September because Carluke conjurer Keith Dalgleish believed he could win a few races with him on the level and he’s been proved right with successes at both Ripon and Catterick and he can secure his biggest prize to date in this prestigious heat.

Hopefully the old adage horses for courses applies particularly well to the selection as he’s two from two at Musselburgh, admittedly over fences, and the stamina-sapping 1m 6f looks perfect as he was only headed entering the final furlong over 2m at Southwell last month when finishing second.

Both of Mixboy’s wins have come with a bit of cut in the ground so the surface should be fine and it wouldn’t be the greatest surprise in the world to see this versatile performer contesting long-distance pattern races later in the campaign.

Dalgleish also looks to have a chance in the Royal Mile (3pm) with Miss Bar Beach (10/1), but preference goes to canny David Barron’s Fake News (9/2) after his recent winning return over 7f at Wolves where after wintering well, connections were hopeful of victory despite his 8-1 starting price.

The fancy travelled around the West Midlands circuit in fine fashion, taking up the running well inside the final furlong and running on strongly which suggests that this weekend’s step up to the mile should be well within his capabilities.

A slightly higher draw than six might have been preferable, but it’s entirely possible that this lightly raced three-year-old is very well handicapped off a mark of just 86.

It’s doubtful whether any of the contestants for the Borderlescott Sprint Trophy (2.25pm) will be as good as the horse after which the race is named, but favourite Alpha Delphini (5/4) is shaping well and fully justifies his position in the market.

Bryan Smart’s charge is a few pounds clear of his rivals on ratings and is another athlete with a fine record here, winning both starts including last time when a length too powerful for Ornate in a similar event in October.

Fitness is not a concern as he goes well fresh and he’ll relish any moisture in the surface.

The contrast between Musselburgh and Meydan couldn’t be much greater and Godolphin’s Talismanic (8/1) can prevail in one of the richest races in the world, the Dubai World Cup (5.50pm).

This fellow had a lovely prep for this contest, staying on powerfully to land a conditions race at Chantilly three weeks’ ago by a length and three quarters from stable companion Cloth Of Stars.

He’s trained by ‘Little Napoleon’ Andre Fabre, the French handler who has yet to win this but has raided so many great international races, and the ‘boys in blue’ have the best record in this, scoring six times including with the great Dubai Millennium in 2000.


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