Musselburgh Sunday tips 2 February – Selections on day two of Festival Trials weekend

Brian Healy gives his Musselburgh Sunday tips as he takes a race-by-race look at the second day racecard for Festival Trials weekend at the Scottish track.

Sunday sees day two of the Cheltenham Festival Trials weekend go to post and a cracking seven race card awaits punters headed by the Listed Scottish Triumph Hurdle which gets underway at 1.45pm as the second race of the afternoon.

There could be some Festival clues to be had throughout the afternoon at the Scottish track as some of the big-name trainers send runners north to complete their Festival preparations and Brian Healy gives his Musselburgh Sunday tips for every race.

1:15 – bet365 Novices’ Handicap Chase Cl4 (5yo+ 0-120) 3m
1:45 – bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle (A Juvenile Hurdle) (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo) 1m7½f
2:15 – bet365 Scottish Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 1m7½f
2:50 – bet365 Scottish Stayers Novices’ Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 3m
3:20 – Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m2f
3:50 – bet365 Handicap Chase (Northern Lights Staying Chase Series Qualifier) Cl4 (5yo+ 0-120) 3m2½f
4:20 – bet365 Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl4 (4-6yo) 1m7½f

MUSSELBURGH SUNDAY TIPS AT A GLANCE

1:15 – I’M TOO GENEROUS (4/1, William Hill)
1:45 – GOA LIL (3/1, William Hill)
2:15 – WILD MAX (9/4, William Hill)
2:50 – SAINT XAVIER (4/5, William Hill)
3:20 – FRED THE FOOT (10/3, William Hill)
3:50 – NORTONTHORPELEGEND (5/2, William Hill)
4:20 – MORTLACH (7/4, Bet365)

1:15 – bet365 Novices’ Handicap Chase Cl4 (5yo+ 0-120) 3m

I’M TOO GENEROUS (4/1, William Hill) has won three of his four starts at this venue in bumpers and over hurdles, latterly scoring over 2m 4f here in November with a defeat of Trongate where he scored by nine lengths.

Rebecca Menzies’ charge has raced just once before over fences, but the Generous gelding showed some aptitude for the larger obstacles in finishing third of five runners behind Felix Mendelssohn where he possibly found the two miles too sharp for him.

The front two in that Perth outing have both won since and his revised mark could prove workable as he switches back to chasing here. He remains thoroughly unexposed and the longer trip here could suit so every chance he can make his presence felt.

1:45 – bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle (A Juvenile Hurdle) (Listed Race) Cl1 (4yo) 1m7½f

GOA LIL (3/1, William Hill) could be worth chancing to reverse recent Kempton form with the reopposing Thyme White having finished behind that rival at the Sunbury venue over Christmas.

Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge showed some useful form in France and was in the process of running a big race when unseating his rider at the second-last hurdle on his UK debut behind Goshen prior to that Kempton outing.

However, he appeared to relish the switch in tactics when last seen making every post a winning one back at Kempton latest where he kept on dourly to repel Lord Lamington having made all.

He beat a 136-rated rival on that occasion and with the potential to improve further he could prove tough to peg back over this sharp two miles.

Nigel Twiston-Davies features in our Musselburgh Sunday tips.

Nigel Twiston-Davies can saddle a Musselburgh winner on Sunday.

2:15 – bet365 Scottish Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 1m7½f

WILD MAX (9/4, William Hill) has looked a really nice prospect since his arrival from France, winning both starts to date at Taunton which includes an impressive success over France De Reve when last seen.

Paul Nicholls does well with his ex-French imports and the Maxios gelding showed plenty of ability when readily coming clear last time out to register a near-four lengths’ victory. That looked a fairly useful contest where he gave weight all round, and he did the job well.

The form hasn’t worked out particularly well; but he could do no more than win as he did and he remains open to plenty of improvement so there would be no surprise if he were to find another chunk of progress. It could also prove to be significant that Harry Cobden travels north of the border for the ride.

There appears every chance that the Maxios gelding can make it 3-3 over timber despite this being a deeper race.

2:50 – bet365 Scottish Stayers Novices’ Hurdle Cl2 (4yo+) 3m

SAINT XAVIER (4/5, William Hill) was a fairly useful prospect when trained in France and the Saint Des Saints gelding can follow up his latest success.

Paul Nicholls’ charge was a chase winner at Auteuil prior to joining the Ditcheat team and he was entitled to need his reappearance following more than a year off the track at Cheltenham in December where he faced an impossible task in Grade Two company.

Owner and rider David Maxwell has done well with some shrewd purchases out of France and the eight-year old is considered a possible Grand National horse. But he stepped up on that hurdles reappearance to win easily at Kempton in January with a wide margin defeat of two rivals.

That form is only ordinary, but he likely has better still to come in this sphere and he can take this hurdles prize before a potential switch to the larger obstacles later.

3:20 – Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) Cl2 (5yo+) 3m2f

FRED THE FOOT (10/3, William Hill) won over this course and distance on his reappearance following a three months’ break and John McConnell’s charge can follow up here.

The Scorpion gelding has proven himself to be a useful sort in Ireland, winning three times with successes at Down Royal, Clonmel and Limerick, the last of which came back in July where he ran out a two lengths’ victor over Everybreathyoutake.

He latterly ran out a ready winner over Ask Paddington here on New Years’ Day where he was value for more than the official winning margin and the step up in trip here ought to hold no fears. A 5lbs rise in the weights for that success does demand a shade more, but he looks to be going the right way over timber and could prove equal to the task of defying his new mark.

Brian Hughes can strike for our Musselburgh Sunday tips column.

Jockey Brian Hughes can ride a Musselburgh winner on Sunday.

3:50 – bet365 Handicap Chase (Northern Lights Staying Chase Series Qualifier) Cl4 (5yo+ 0-120) 3m2½f

NORTONTHORPELEGEND (5/2, William Hill) has won two of his last three starts, latterly scoring at Ayr where he beat Ask Cory by three-parts of a length and Rebecca Menzies’ charge can follow up that success back from a break.

The veteran Midnight Legend gelding had previously won at Cartmel in August and a 6lbs rise in the weights for his latest victory remains workable given his historic form and having won from a higher mark than this in the past.

Trip and ground should both prove no issue and with the yard in decent heart at present he could be worth chancing to make a winning return to action from three months off.

4:20 – bet365 Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race Cl4 (4-6yo) 1m7½f

Harry Cobden travels north for only two rides at Musselburgh on Sunday and MORTLACH (7/4, Bet365) can make the trip worthwhile with success in the finale.

Well-backed to make a winning debut, Paul Nicholls’ Yeats gelding offered plenty to work on when finishing runner-up on his racecourse bow at Chepstow in December behind Cadmar. That one also looked a potentially useful sort and the Ditcheat runner was beaten four lengths although possibly just needed the run and experience behind the winner who had had the benefit of a previous run.

That experience won’t have been lost on him so he is expected to improve and go one place better here and cap a successful day for the Nicholls camp.

MUSSELBURGH SUNDAY TIPS AT A GLANCE

1:15 – I’M TOO GENEROUS (4/1, William Hill)
1:45 – GOA LIL (3/1, William Hill)
2:15 – WILD MAX (9/4, William Hill)
2:50 – SAINT XAVIER (4/5, William Hill)
3:20 – FRED THE FOOT (10/3, William Hill)
3:50 – NORTONTHORPELEGEND (5/2, William Hill)
4:20 – MORTLACH (7/4, Bet365)

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