2022 starts with a bang with two runners at Musselburgh on New Year’s Day, five at Ayr on Sunday, and a further seven back at Musselburgh on Monday. There is some good prize money on offer and hopefully there’ll be a few winners to show for it!
Our first chance of getting on the scoresheet comes with Bollingerandkrug in the 2m4f novice handicap chase at Musselburgh this afternoon. ‘Humphrey’, as he’s known at home, is stepping down in grade but back up in trip having finished fourth over 2m at Ayr last time. Both will be in his favour and we’re also fitting cheekpieces to help a horse who can race a little lazily at times.
In the following contest, the 2m4f ‘Hair of The Dog’ handicap hurdle, Aurora Thunder lines up off a light weight aiming to bounce back from being pulled up at Aintree last time. She had legitimate excuses that day and is fancied to go well at an each-way price now she returns to Musselburgh, a course she has run creditably at in the past.
Moving onto Ayr on Sunday, where we begin with Domandlouis in the opening 2m4f novice hurdle. A promising third on his hurdling debut at Ayr back in November, he’ll appreciate the step up in trip and we think he is capable of at least finishing in the first three or four.
There are 16-runners in the second race on the card, the 2m4f handicap hurdle, with Your Place looking to build on her encouraging fourth at Hexham. A stayer in the making, the soft ground will be to her advantage.
We throw two darts at the 2m novice hurdle, with Netywell and Rowdy Rustler both holding claims in an open contest. Rowdy Rustler perhaps has the more obvious chance having just been touched off at Kelso last time, but Netywell is also a most promising youngster and possesses the raw ability to be competitive.
Destiny Is All, our fifth and final runner on Sunday, looks set to give a good account in the 2m4f novice handicap chase following a fine return to action over course and distance at the end of November. Having missed over a year through injury, he ran a cracker to be second to stable companion Rapid Raider – a winner again since – and provided he handles the softer ground, he should make a bold bid to go one better.
Lucinda Russell Racing