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Musselburgh- Preview 1st January 2023

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.

Connections of Voix De Reve have their eyes on first prize this time in the Fitzdare £30,000 Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day.


Set to carry the black and white striped silks of Tyneside owner David Armstrong, the Iain Jardine-trained gelding faces ten rivals in a keenly contested renewal of the two-mile event.


Newcastle United fanatic Armstrong said: “We’re coming up for the day and I’m looking forward to seeing him run well. He shouldn’t mind the ground and he’s been second a couple of times at Musselburgh including when beaten in a photo-finish in this race two years ago!”


Donald McCain, winning trainer in 2021 with 22-1 chance Blakeney Point, is represented by Nayati partnered by dual champion jockey Brian Hughes and Collingham, whose Dundee United director owner Jimmy Fyffe landed the 2018 & 2020 renewals with Sir Chauvelin.   


First Impression, third twelve months ago to runaway winner Tommy’s Oscar, is another interesting contender along with Lucinda Russell pair Thereisnodoubt and Cuban Cigar.


The “Auld Reekie” Handicap Chase also carries £30,000 in prize money and Grade 2 winner Minella Drama heads the weights on 12st for McCain & Hughes.


Pay The Piper, second in the Frodon Novices’ Chase at Musselburgh’s Cheltenham Trials meeting in February, is saddled by Northumberland permit-holder Ann Hamilton, who won this in 2020 with Nuts Well.