Recent Winner Can Defy Penalty Over The Border
Conditions Just Right For Five-Year-Old
The stable of north Yorkshire trainer Grant Tuer has come into form with a bang in recent days with two winners and three placed horses in his last half dozen runners. He sends one of those gold medallists, ETIKAAL to Mussleburgh this evening and the gelding can get the double. Once owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum and trained by Simon Crisford, he probably carried greater expectations than a Class 5 handicap, but a win is just that anywhere.
Etikaal won off a mark of 68 at Newcastle last Autumn but then went off the boil until getting beaten in a photo finish by Red Seeker at Beverley a couple of weeks ago. Returned on the course quickly, he beat Global Hope and 10 others in a Class 6 at Yarmouth off a mark of 55 on Tuesday, and, considering he was winning at Pontefract off 72 just a year ago, today's event looks within his compass. Tuer is three from 16 at Mussleburgh and 51% better than expected when teaming up with pilot Sam James there.
At 20/1, JACOB BLACK looks the value in the race, especially as his sire, Amadeus Wolf produces progeny who are an impressive seven from 40 here. ALIENTO has clearly improved for the move to Michael Dods but TUKHOOM looks the real danger after just going down to Golden Force by a head at Leicester. He is down 2lbs for that effort and apprentice Conor McGovern takes off another three.
In what looks sure to be a tight finish Etikaal can prevail and can be easily found at 6/1.