Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ubi Could Be the Ace in the Pack

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ubi Could Be the Ace in the Pack

Article excerpt

IF the weather forecast is accurate, Musselburgh will provide the only racing on turf in Britain today with a resurrected card from last weekend.

Their most valuable jumps meeting of the season last Sunday was frustratingly called off because the course (pictured above) was frozen in parts.

However, the East Lothians executive, heartened by a favourable Met Office report, successfully applied for a replacement fixture.

In an ideal world they would have preferred to have raced again on a Sunday with the prospect of making money from a bigger crowd.

However, Saturday is the biggest betting day of the week and this should be reflected in an increased turnover backed by terrestrial television coverage.

The original programme has been slightly downgraded in prize money involving the main events and the hunterchase dropped.

This will not go down well with the point-to-point fraternity, which is understandable - but it has been replaced by a stayers' handicap hurdle, backed by the day's sponsors John Smith, and will appeal more to punters.

The Scottish County Hurdle is one of the Cheltenham trial races featured and Tim Walford has rerouted Ubi Ace to Scotland after the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury became the latest victim of the cold snap. Set to carry 10st 3lb at Newbury, Ubi Ace now finds himself shouldering top weight in this lesser event but you would not discount his chance.

Lightly-raced, he trotted up at Wetherby before gaining a battling success at Sandown.

Third to Celestial Halo at Newbury on New Year's Eve, he now has a much higher rating to cope with, but a strong gallop will help him settle and he is sure to get one here.

Dontpaytheferryman is on a hat-trick after two course wins since a visor was applied.

He does not hang around and might take some catching, but he could be taken on for the lead by one or two others and that scenario and another 8lb hike could make him vulnerable.

Palawi will not be far off the pace and returned to winning ways over the course six weeks ago and, though a 6lb rise demands more, he may confirm that running with Nine Stories and Alsahil. …

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