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Swing in the New Year at Musselburgh

By Anita Chambers

Musselburgh hosts some decent action to blast away the New Year's Day hangover, with Swing Bowler possibly the most eyecatching runner on the card.

She puts her four-race unbeaten record on the line in the totequadpot At Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle in what is also her seasonal bow.

Winner of two bumpers and two novice hurdles for David Pipe last term, she is a daughter of the fantastic racemare Lady Cricket and Classic sire Galileo.

She has inherited plenty of ability from both and is one who could prove a bit better than her rating this term.

Venetia Williams is obviously in search of some better ground for Niceonefrankie who takes his chance in the Honest Toun Handicap Chase.

The Ishiguru gelding has done all his winning on ground no more testing than soft, claiming four chases last season before rounding off with a lacklustre run at the Festival.

He has failed to shine in two starts so far this term but should be given another chance after the handicapper relented a couple of pounds.

Ibn Hiyyan should appreciate the drop back to two miles in the Handicap Chase at Catterick after finding an extra three furlongs too much last time.

At Fakenham, Chabal is a fascinating contender in the Mirror Punter's Club Maiden Hurdle.

Second in the 2009 National Stakes when trained by Jim Bolger, he was recruited by Godolphin as a potential Classic contender and was actually first past the post in a trial at Sandown only to be disqualified after returning a positive drugs test.

He then flopped in the Dante before signing off with a second behind Wigmore Hall in conditions company at Newmarket in August 2010.

Off the track since then, the son of Galileo has now been gelded and joined John Ferguson for a career over obstacles.

The trainer has done extremely well with his Darley cast-offs so far and if Chabal can transfer just a fraction of his Flat form to hurdles, he could be a useful tool.

Moorhouse Lad may be celebrating his official 10th birthday but he can prove age is no bar to success in the Handicap at Wolverhampton.

A dual Group Three winner in his pomp, Moorhouse Lad may now be in the twilight of his career but is still capable of putting up a decent show, as evidenced by two recent narrow defeats.

Another well-received winner would be La Estrella who is taken to extend his winning run to seven in the Claiming Stakes, having transfered his talents from Southwell with that track currently closed due to flooding.

CATTERICK: 12.40 Special Catch, 1.10 See What Happens, 1.45 Flora's Pride, 2.20 Tommysteel, 2.55 Ibn Hiyyan, 3.30 Gonow.

EXETER: 12.25 Big Society, 12.55 Leader Of The Gang, 1.30 Ambion Wood, 2.05 Duneen Point, 2.40 Gullinbursti, 3.15 Musical Wedge, 3.50 Trevaylor Boy.

FAIRYHOUSE: 12.20 Kandinski, 12.50 Jeunopse, 1.25 Your Busy, 2.00 Miriam's Dream, 2.35 Western Leader, 3.10 Murchu, 3.40 Indian File.

FAKENHAM: 12.45 Royal Defence, 1.20 Chabal, 1.55 Evella, 2.30 Dawn Twister, 3.05 Groomed, 3.40 Everdon Brook.

MUSSELBURGH: 12.35 Rockawango, 1.05 Niceonefrankie, 1.40 Imperial Vic, 2.15 Exotic Man, 2.45 SWING BOWLER (NAP), 3.20 Phase Shift.

TRAMORE: 12.00 Bell Weir, 12.30 Popmurphy, 1.00 Dubh Go Leir, 1.35 Lookoutnow, 2.10 Blazing Tempo, 2.45 High Desert, 3.20 Dunroe Boy.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.15 La Estrella, 1.50 Stanley Rigby, 2.25 Moorhouse Lad, 3.00 Golden Flower, 3.35 Doodles, 4.05 Trois Vallees, 4.35 Caracal.

DOUBLE: Swing Bowler and Chabal.

Belfast Telegraph


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