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By Gordon Brown


MIKE SMITH is a man for all seasons and the Ayrshire trainer has been busy under both codes recently.

The Galston handler struck again with Granite City Doc at Hamilton Park and the gelding is now 2-3 since joining Mike from now-retired Lucy Normile.

His jumpers, without winning, are about to get into top gear and I hear Grand National-winning jockey Ryan Mania is popping in once a week to ride work.

It is a combination that could reaps plenty of rewards in the coming weeks and months.

The night also featured a taking performance from

Celtic mad Andrew ‘Midge’ Mullen was all smiles after guiding Ben Haslam-trained Party Game to an emphatic success at Ayr.

After excitedly talking about plans to purchase Celtic’s new away strip, the East Lothian-born pilot was also pretty enthusiastic about Party Game who won going away in the style of a smart two-year-old.

Iain Jardine’s good run continued at Ripon the other day when he saddled a quick-fire double at Yorkshire’s ‘garden racecourse’.

Improving juvenile Innse Gall, carrying the red and green colours of veteran Dumfriesshire owner Hal McGhie, made a winning handicap debut in the nursery while Clearance followed up his recent Musselburgh win in the long-distance handicap thirty minutes later.

News has reached me of a new venue for the Fife point to point which is normally staged in late April at Balcormo Mains, the oldest course to host action between flags having been in operation since 1910.

From 2021, the fixture is moving to Willie Young’s circuit in the Clyde Valley, near Crossford and it will retain its same traditional Saturday date on the day after the Perth festival.

Racing in Scotland this week, behind closed doors, is scheduled for Perth on Tuesday evening and Hamilton Park on Thursday afternoon.

There will be a minimum of eight races on each card and the provisional start times are 4.30pm and 2.10pm respectively.

Some big name stables have entries at Perth where Matthew Taylor will be officiating at his second meeting since taking over the reins as clerk of the course from Harriet Graham.


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