Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 16:20 31/01/2015
National Hunt Racing during the last couple of weeks has been difficult to watch at times with so many horses finishing in a distressed state due to ground conditions, notably the Betway West Wales National at Ffos Las on Saturday afternoon in which just one horse was able to raise a gallop at the end of the stamina-sapping 3m 4f contest in the shape of 16-1 outsider Bob Ford. While completing the course in second place ( and the only other horse to finish ) the Venetia Williams-trained Gorgehous Lliege had to be coaxed into jumping the final fence after refusing at the first attempt and it will be no surprise if the mount of Callum Whillans takes a long time to recover from his exertions.
Providing Sunday's meeting at Musselburgh surives a precautionary inspection at 8.00am in the morning ground conditions are likely to as good as we can hope for in the immediate future and on a card featuring a number of Cheltenham Festival hopefuls the main betting race of the day, the John Smith's Scottish County Hurdle at 3.00pm, can go the way of the Brian Ellison-trained Streets Of Newyork at the 7-1 available with Betfair Sportsbook.
After joining Ellison from Ireland the Dalakhani gelding had two quick runs over hurdles, running with promise on both occasions, before switching to a Flat campaign which included several creditable efforts including a narrow victory in a competitive York handicap last May. Back over hurdles last December the eight-year-old went down by a head to the in-form Special Wells and on the back of that run was all the rage for a handicap over tomorrow's course and distance, going off a well backed 2-1 favourite.
Always travelling smoothly the mount of Danny Cook came home with his head in his chest by four and a half lengths from a decent yardstick in Tio Vivo and an 8lb higher mark is unlikely to stop the horse following up in Sunday's £25k contest, at the main expence of the lightly-raced Lucy Wadham runner A Boy Named Suzi who will be attempting handicap company for the first time after three promising runs in novice events.