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|Wednesday 27th February 2019|
|Thursday 28th February 2019|
|Sunday 10th March 2019|
|Friday 22nd March 2019|
Musselburgh Racecourse is in the Millhill area of the town in East Lothian, Scotland. It used to be called Edinburgh racecourse and is less than one mile from the A1 and just two miles from the Edinburgh City bypass. There is access via a road bridge over the River Esk on race days only. The nearest train station is Wallyford Station on the Edinburgh Waverley to North Berwick line. A shuttle bus operates on race days.
Musselburgh is a sharp right handed track with a straight five furlong course. The two turns at the top of the track are very sharp so the track can be testing for long striding horses. Musselburgh horse racing tips should focus on sharper horses that like to race up with the pace. A big, scopey horse can find the leaders gone beyond recall by the time it has got itself organised for the home straight.
The draw bias here varies with the distance and going. On good or fast ground, low numbers have a slight advantage over five furlongs but high numbers are favoured over seven furlongs. The draw is of no apparent significance over the longer distance when the going is soft.
Racing first took place at Musselburgh in 1777 when it was run by the Royal Caledonian Hunt. For a period between 1789 and 1816 several meetings were held on the sands at Leith. The current site became Musselburgh’s permanent home in 1816.
Musselburgh has faced an on-going struggle for survival since the legalisation of off-course betting shops in 1961. Attendances fell sharply and the Scottish tracks at Lanark and Bogside were declared bankrupt. The sale of live pictures to betting shops provided some temporary relief in 1987 but the East Lothian Council were forced to step in during 1991. The Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee was created in 1994 and a £7.5 million refurbishment plan was put in place.
Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip attended Musselburgh on 8th July 2016 as part of the Bi-Centenary celebrations for the course. Although out of luck with her two runners on the day, Her Majesty’s Forth Bridge provided a Royal success at the closing jumps meeting of the year. The featured Bi-Centenary Cup was won by Livella Fella, trained locally by Keith Dalgleish and ridden by Phillip Makin.
The future of the racecourse was thrown into doubt once again in 2018. A working group was set up to decide the best way forward and recommended that the track be overseen by a third-party operator.
The course stages 27 meetings per year, a mixture of flat and National Hunt meetings on turf. Musselburgh’s two most valuable races, the Scottish Sprint Cup and the Edinburgh Cup, both take place in June.
The recent introduction of a Scottish Trials weekend in February ahead of the Cheltenham Festival has proved very successful. It has been well supported by leading trainers, notably Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls. The card includes the Triumph Hurdle Trial and the Scottish County Hurdle. Other significant meetings include Caledonian Cup race day, the New Years’ Day meeting and Stobo Castle Ladies’ Day.
The Scottish Sprint Cup carries £100,000 in prize money and is the richest race ever staged at Musselburgh. There are usually plenty of Musselburgh racing tips for this very competitive six furlong sprint handicap. It is often over-subscribed and a consolation race has been introduced for horses eliminated at the 48-hour declaration stage. The Edinburgh Cup takes place on Derby day with spectators able to watch the action from Epsom on a giant screen.
The two-day Scottish Trials meeting offers £240,000 in prize money. The feature race on the first day is the £40,000 National Handicap Chase over four miles. The Scottish County Hurdle over two miles, the Scottish Future Champion Novices’ Chase and Scottish Foxhunter Open Hunters’ Chase are on the supporting card.
The second day opens with the £25,000 Listed Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial. The Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle and the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle also feature on a good quality card. Musselburgh tips tend to focus on the very strong southern raiders attracted by the excellent prize money.
The Scottish Sprint Cup was first run in 2000. Eric Alston’s Red Baron finished runner-up in the consolation race in 2014 and returned to win the feature race the following season. The Edinburgh Cup was introduced in 2010 with the first running going to Harris Tweed, trained by William Haggas. In 2012 the race was won by Mark Johnston’s Scatter Dice who would go on to win the Cesarewitch in 2013 as a 66-1 outsider.
Nicky Henderson won the Scottish Champion Hurdle with Eradicate in 2010. That horse went on to win the valuable Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in 2010 and 2011. Venetia Williams won the race with Brick Red in 2013 and Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie was a popular winner in 2014. He won the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup on the flat in 2016 and has been a terrific servant to the stable.
Henderson has also enjoyed success in the Triumph Hurdle Trial with Giorgio Quercus (2009), Hargam (2015) and We Have A Dream (2018). His most recent winner followed up in a Grade 1 at Aintree. Paul Nicholls trained Sametegal to win the race in 2013.
Local trainers Keith Dalgleish and Mark Johnston top the statistics numerically on the flat. One of the best Musselburgh horse racing tips for today is to follow Kevin Ryan’s runners. He is one of the few trainers to show a worthwhile profit to a level stake over the past three seasons. Ruth Carr also does well with her runners at Musselburgh.
Jockey Joe Fanning has ridden more than twice as many winners at Musselburgh than any other rider in the past three years. Several jockeys show level stakes profits here. The pick of them is David Allan who has recorded a 20% strike rate and a healthy level stakes profit. Daniel Tudhope and Connor Beasley also ride the track particularly well.
The trainer to follow over jumps here is Paul Nicholls. He has won with six of his ten runners over fences and ten of his 26 runners in total. James Ewart does well with his runners over hurdles while jockey Brian Hughes must feature in our Musselburgh betting tips. Hughes tops the statistics as the leading National Hunt rider at this venue.
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