By Gordon Brown
DINO BOY is bidding to add another ‘National’ to his portfolio in the feature race on the opening card of the bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials weekend at Musselburgh on Saturday.
Having landed December’s Scottish Borders National at Kelso, Iain Jardine’s Dumfriesshire raider faces eleven rivals in the £30,000 Edinburgh National which, at nearly 4m 1f, is the longest race staged all year in Scotland.
Jardine, who also saddles The Delray Monkey, said: “He was left clear at the last at Kelso when his nearest challenger unseated his jockey but I think he would have won anyway. He had the upper hand and won pretty well in the end.
“We have a slight concern about him going right-handed as he can jump a wee bit to the the left but I’d say he is definitely on the up. His preparation has been interrupted a little due to the weather but it’s been the same for everyone and he should run pretty well again.
“The Delray Monkey got stuck in the mud at Wetherby over Christmas and the ground along with the track and trip should suit her.”
Sandy Thomson, whose Duc De Grissay, unseated Ryan Mania when upsides Dino Boy, runs The Ferry Master, a lightly-raced chaser on a hat-trick following wins at Kelso and Newcastle in November.
And last year’s short-head scorer Bob Mahler, trained in Lambourn by Warren Greatrex, is also in the line-up but has pulled up on all three runs this term.
Paul Nicholls enjoyed a Bryony Frost-ridden treble on the corresponding fixture last February and the eleven-time champion trainer will be fancying the chances of Christopher Wood in the bet365 Scottish County Hurdle.
Stable amateur Angus Chelda will be having only his third spin at Musselburgh on a horse with course and distance winning form just under a year ago.
The seven-race meeting will be staged behind-closed-doors, adhering to strict Covid-19 safety protocols.
For more information contact Gordon Brown on 07850 258063 for Scottish Racing.