Musselburgh preview: Fred can rule Supreme for Henderson on Sunday

14th September 2021

This Musselburgh Cheltenham Trials Sunday preview includes Fred (right)

Trainer Nicky Henderson has a superb record with his Musselburgh runners, so
Fred is a strong fancy to further enhance it with victory in the 2m Scottish Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on Cheltenham Trials Day there this Sunday (14:15).

The Seven Barrows handler has an overall strike rate of just under 28 per cent at the Scottish venue having saddled 12 winners and 10 placed from 43 raiders.

In Fred, he has a five-year-old who has some useful form to his name in France when finishing runner-up on three occasions.

They include when beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Fakir, who finished a highly promising seventh of 22 to Cheltenham Champion Bumper runner-up Blue Sari at Punchestown last time out.

Fred was then purchased by Anthony Bromley on behalf of leading owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

He ran very well on his first start for Henderson when third of 11 to Heaven Help Us in a decent maiden hurdle at Cheltenham.

As Fred raced close up and held every chance, the mistake he made two from home proved costly as it knocked the stuffing out of him.

Progressive with his racing and impressive at Kempton

It was to his credit, therefore, that he then stuck to the task well to be beaten just over four lengths.

The winner has since come out and run well to finish third behind the smart Silver Forever at Newbury, whilst the fourth hone Getariver won next time up at Ludlow.

Fred then ran a bit below par when third to stable companion Igor at Ascot, before getting off the mark in fine style last time out at Kempton when quickening cleat to beat Ecco by 4 1/2 lengths.

As the runner-up is a smart sort who had previously finished third in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham, and the third home Getaway Fred went into the race on the back of a success at Chepstow, it gives the form a very strong look in relation to this similar class 2 affair.

That has earned Fred an official rating of 138, the highest in the line-up. He also looks the type who has more to offer and will appreciate running on better ground.

So, with Henderson continuing to be among the winners, Fred is going to be tough to beat and the one to be on at 7/2 with Betway here.

I K Brunel has a super chance at Musselburgh in Stayers

Now returned to a sounder surface at Musselburgh, I K Brunel makes plenty of appeal in the 3m Scottish Stayers Novices’ Hurdle (14:50).

After winning on debut in a bumper at Carlisle, this Olly Murphy trained six-year-old shaped with stacks of promise on his first start over the obstacles at Cheltenham when third to Elixir de Nutz over 2m 1f.

I K Brunel was held-up in the early stages and far from fluent on occasion, including at the second last after which he got outpaced.

The son of Midnight Legend then rallied, however, and stayed on strongly to be gaining all the way to the line and beaten just over five lengths.

It was a fine effort, given how the race panned out. The winner is an extremely smart sort who went on to land the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, so that gives the form a very solid look.

I K Brunel was then clearly amiss when a tailed-off fifth of six to Southfield Stone in the Grade 2 Dovecote at Kempton.

Form of last run reads well

He showed that running to be all wrong when powering clear to beat highly-regarded Listed bumper winner Eden Du Houx by six lengths at Fontwell on seasonal reappearance.

It was a performance which suggested there was much more to come from him.

I K Burnel then disappointed when pitched into Grade 2 company and finishing last of eight to Thyme Hill at Cheltenham on very soft ground.

However, that was clearly not his true running and he has since shaped far better when a keeping on 9 3/4 length fourth of 11 to Colin Tizzard’s highly-touted and hugely exciting prospect The Big Breakaway.

The third home that day Craigneiche, who finished just 1 1/2 lengths in front of the selection, also looked an above average sort when powering to victory next time up at Doncaster.

That gives the form a strong look in relation to this. A repeat may well be good enough to see I K Brunel get back on the scoresheet.

With underfoot conditions now in his favour at Musselburgh, he can be backed at 7/2 with Coral to do just that.

Thyme White another tasty Musselburgh punt in Scottish Triumph Hurdle

Thyme White has form in the book which suggests he well worth backing at 7/2 with BetVictor to open his account over the obstacles in the Listed 2m Scottish Triumph Hurdle (13:45).

This four-year-old was a fair sort on the level when trained in France, competing in a Group 3 at Longchamp on his final start.

He was then purchased by Andy Stewart and sent to join champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls.

Although beaten 34 lengths when runner-up to Goshen at Sandown, Thyme White shaped with plenty of promise.

The winner is a very smart sort who has won again since to be rated 144 and is a leading contender for the actual Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Thyme White then duly built on that promising introduction when a 1 3/4 lengths runner-up to the highly-regarded Rowland Ward, who ran in a Grade 2 next time up, in a six-runner affair at Kempton.

The son of Anodin led or raced up with the pace to out and, after getting headed at the last, was unable to match the winner’s turn of foot.

It was a really solid performance. Thyme White has nothing to fear from the re-opposing Goal Lil, who finished 5 1/2 lengths behind him in fourth and has won since, at Musselburgh.

He is clearly improving with each outing and hails from a yard that has saddled five winners from its last seven runners at the time of writing.

Nicholls also has an overall strike rate of 35 per cent with his rare runners at Musselburgh. This looks to be a good opening for Thyme White to get off the mark.

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