Heavy snow and deep freeze could dis­rupt Mus­sel­burgh’s big day

The Herald - Sport - - RACING -

MUS­SEL­BURGH is braced for “an in­ter­est­ing few days” of weather which could dis­rupt prepa­ra­tion for the track’s big day on Sun­day.

Scot­tish Chel­tenham Tri­als Day has lured strong en­tries to the East Loth­ian cir­cuit, but heavy snow and freez­ing tem­per­a­tures have been fore­cast.

Clerk of the course Har­riet Gra­ham nonethe­less re­mains up­beat the meet­ing can de­feat the el­e­ments.

She said: “At this stage, we are mod­er­ately con­fi­dent of rac­ing. “It is, how­ever, a very tricky fore­cast. “I have spo­ken to the Met Of­fice and they have pretty high con­fi­dence we will have a few more heavy snow show­ers in the next 24 hours. The snow is meant to have moved through by Fri­day, which will hope­fully give us the chance to put down fur­ther cov­ers.

“The take-off and land­ing ar­eas are cov­ered, but we have to wait for the snow to pass through be­fore we can take any fur­ther ac­tion.

“Overnight tem­per­a­tures are also due to get to around mi­nus 1C, pos­si­bly mi­nus 2C. “It will be an in­ter­est­ing few days.” Mean­while Nicky Hen­der­son is aim­ing to bet­ter his al­ready im­pres­sive record in the Bet­fair Hur­dle at Newbury on Satur­day week.

No trainer has won Europe’s most valu­able hand­i­cap hur­dle as many as the five times which Hen­der­son has tasted suc­cess, most re­cently in 2013 with sub­se­quent Supreme Novices’ Hur­dle and Cham­pion Hur­dle run­ner-up My Tent Or Yours.

Sharpi­cal, Geos (twice) and Land­ing Light are the other names from Seven Bar­rows on the roll of hon­our and this year he looks sure to have more than one run­ner.

Sign Of A Vic­tory, tailed off be­hind Cham­pion Hur­dle favourite Faugh­een at Kemp­ton over Christ­mas, looks set to take his chance but would not like very soft ground.

Vasco Du Ron­ceray is another who looks sure to run hav­ing been given a break since win­ning at Hay­dock, while Dawalan, in the same own­er­ship, is another pos­si­ble although is pen­cilled in for Mus­sel­burgh on Sun­day. Hen­der­son would also con­sider run­ning Snake Eyes but he has lit­tle hope of mak­ing the cut at this stage.

“We got a bit into a mud­dle with Sign Of A Vic­tory and I can’t be­lieve you saw him at his best at Kemp­ton,” said Hen­der­son.

“But as I say it wasn’t the horse’s fault. He is com­ing in from a nice prepa­ra­tion and has done two nice bits of work. He is in good form and I hope it stays dry.

“He’d have to run very well to go for the Cham­pion Hur­dle

“The other one I hope will be def­i­nitely in attendance will be Vasco Du Ron­ceray.

“He’s al­ways looked as if he would be all right, but things didn’t quite go his way last year and we had a few is­sues.

“He came out and was good the first time and he hasn’t run since. He went a bit quiet on us, then again the last cou­ple of weeks he has been in very good form.

“So, he’ll be at least where he was when he first came out at Hay­dock.

“He is sharp enough, he’ll han­dle the ground. “He’d have a re­al­is­tic chance I hope. “Dawalan would only run if Mus­sel­burgh on Sun­day – when the idea is to get him Pertemps qual­i­fied – is off, I want to run him up there as he must have good ground.

“I’m not sure if I want to be tak­ing horses all the way up there if I couldn’t be sure it was go­ing to be on, though.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.