2:30 Musselburgh (3rd May) Free Horse Racing Tips

An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f on good ground. Six colts take part, three raced. David Brown is a class trainer of two-year-olds and Captain Midnight was backed to favouritism for his debut at Beverley. This son of Bushranger was seriously backed from quite big prices and connections must have been confident of a big run. In truth, he done little wrong finishing third. Many will doubt the form of that race simply because a 40/1 outsider proved victorious. However, there seemed no fluke about the win, while the fourth has run a fair race next start. That was an auction maiden so by race type alone this is a step up in grade. From a statistical point of view this stable feature a greater strike rate with their fancied debutantes than those second time out. That suggests their horses are primed on that first start and in recent years they have attained fair place claims but struggle to win next start.


Muspelhiem & Withernsea contested the same race at Ripon when making their debut over the minimum trip. The former trained by Ann Duffield may have been a speculative price but he ran well to finish runner-up to Blithe Spirit. The winner is trained by Eric Alston who himself said it was his first two-year-old winner in over five years. She won with something in hand but I have to wonder if experience and a low rail draw gave a big advantage. The third placed horse has run a fair race next start without being too impressive. 

Withernsea was sent off favoruite and related to a number of fair siblings including Star Rover & Jamesway. This son of Dark Angel cost 38,000gns and hails from Richard Fahey's stable which has hit form. This attractive bay lost all chance with a terribly slow start. He was adrift by a number of lengths and by all accounts had little hope of winning thereafter. It was to his credit he made pleasing headway and at one point looked to be battling for victory. However, his effort petered out in the final furlong but that was no great loss. Withernsea has a very good chance of reversing the form with Muspelhiem if starting on level terms.

Mark Johnston field two colts in Lyn Valley and Tanseeb. 

On the tissue prices Lyn Valley is favourite for this race which surprises me. This January foal is well bred but he was entered to run at Pontefract the other day and very weak in the betting before being withdrawn. Perhaps that marked drift in the betting was due to someone knowing he wouldn't take part or simply that this son of Shamardal was seemingly second string to the favourite.  I wouldn't back this horse early on the exchanges because it wouldn't surprise me to to learn he is considered inferior to Tanseeb. That may be completely wrong and if the more fancied in the betting by the time of the off he could prove the better. I'm simply suggesting it may pay to be cautious. Also, on breeding, a stiffer test looks more suiting. 

Tanseed races in the Hamdan Al Maktoum silks and a costly yearling buy at 90,000gns. This son of Royal Applause is out of a winning mare. I find Johnston's debutantes difficult to judge. A couple of favourites have let themselves down by tardy starts and this happens all too often for my liking and why a watching brief is advised. The only exception is if they are short-priced favourites. 

Bryan Smart had a nice winner with Lexington Rose at Ripon and his other juvenile runner done nothing wrong when finishing second. He had a poor string of two-year-old last season but if these two are anything to go by he will go well this season. Disclosure is a relatively cheap yearling and may appreciate further in time. The stable have fair win and place claims with their fancied debutantes although they are better horses second start.

Conclusion: A tricky race to judge. Captain Midnight sets the standard on form and likely to make that experience count. He is the horse to beat but the stable don't feature the most impressive strike rate with their juveniles on second start, which slightly tempers enthusiasm. Withernsea has a fighting chance of beating Mispelheim. He had a mountain to climb after a slow start on debut and this well bred youngster would be my selection. The Johnston pair are tricky to assess. I would be very careful if considering betting Lyn Valley. He is priced tissue favourite but I think this is a red herring and likely to drift to the extreme. Tanseeb seems weak in the betting on the exchanges but may be backed if punters feel he is first string. I don't like betting Johnston's youngsters on debut and would take a watching brief. Disclosure has claims if priced 13/2 &  less sp. Similarly, he is weak on the exchanges. I would tip Captain Midnight and Withernsea but at relatively short prices I would watch and learn. 

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