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Musselburgh – Preview 25th March 2022

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.

THE valuable Go North Series Finals get underway at Musselburgh on Friday when Iolani and Island Mahee will be defending the titles they scooped twelve months ago.

After Musselburgh, the finals weekend – boasting over £480,000 in total prize money – moves on to Kelso tomorrow (Sat) and Carlisle on Sunday.

Iolani, trained near Penrith by Dianne Sayer, is at double-figure odds to repeat his success in the £30,000 Go North Sea Pigeon Series Handicap Hurdle Final, named after the dual-Champion Hurdler who was on parade at the official opening of Musselburgh’s national hunt circuit in 1987.

Mrs Sayer said: “He sprung a bit of a surprise to some people last year and we’ve always looked at getting him qualified to come back and try again. He’s a few pounds higher in the weights but this is brilliant prize money for horses of his ability and we’re hoping to have a few runners over the three days.”

Island Mahee, trained in Northern Ireland by Stuart Crawford, is re-united with James Bowen as the partnership bid for back-to-back wins in the Go North Lady Buttons Mares’ Series Handicap Hurdle Final.

The Larne raider stormed home by six-lengths in 2011 and one of her main rivals looks to be Harriet Graham-trained Millarville.

Carrying the ‘Aye Right’ colours of Geoff and Elspeth Adam, she has won two of her last three starts at Kelso and over course and distance.

The two other feature races are the Go North Grey Bomber Series Handicap Hurdle Final and the Go North Brindisi Breeze Series Handicap Hurdle staged over 2m 1f and three miles respectively.