The Queen’s Cup Handicap is a brilliant initiative by Musselburgh racecourse, and this £100,000 handicap for 4-year-olds and older horses has attracted a decent field for the very first running (Saturday 15 April, 3.35).
Suegioo is a victim of his own consistency and, having last won off a mark of 93, he remains on a mark of 104. That tends to make him vulnerable to less exposed types in handicaps like this, but not good enough for a step-up into Listed Company.
Soldier In Action
Inconsistent but talented 4-year-old who was last seen running in the Triumph Hurdle. Fit from that, but is 11lb higher than his last winning handicap mark.
Likeable horse who has done connections proud. Interesting stepped-up in trip, but another who is much higher than last winning mark.
Seemed to improve when racing in Meydan this winter, but it remains to be seen whether he can transfer that improvement back in England. Poorly weighted if not.
Made giant strides on the flat last season, after doing the same over jumps, with two of those hurdle successes coming here at Musselburgh. Likes genuinely quick ground, and potentially leniently handicapped if producing the firm of his second in the last season’s Ebor. Impressive 5lb claimer booked, and should go well.
Promised more than he’s delivered so far, and not won for over 2-years.
Rated a stone-lower than when at his peak, but his best form over much shorter distances. Stamina doubts.
Won the 2014 Northumberland Plate off 96, and handicapper gives him a chance off the same mark here. Could go well if fully wound-up, but may prefer the longer-trip of the Chester Cup in a few weeks time.
Gabrial The Hero
Only 3lb higher than last winning mark, but wins have generally come in a lower-grade than this.
Remains 12lb higher than for last win, and form since has suggested he’s not quite up to it n this class.
Has won off a similar mark, but generally found wanting in this class.
Progressive on the all-weather this winter, but has yet to show the same level of form on turf.
The Tartan Spartan
Trainer likes to aim his horses high, but this one has yet to prove he’s up to this standard.
Remains 6lb higher than for last win, and another who’s yet to really cut it in this class.
Totepool Queen’s Cup Handicap Summary
Isharah, Soldier In Action and Tartan Spartan are three 4-year-old who could find further inprovement this year. However, the stand-out piece-of-form looks to be that of Shrewd when second in last season’s Ebor. He’s also done well here over hurdles for his Scottish Trainer, who looks sure to have targeted this local big-prize, and he’ll love the ground.