Race of The Day Friday August 10
16:102 miles (3200m)

Archerfield Cup Handicap

Musselburgh

  • Current Favourite  Timoshenko
  • Current Odds 2/1
Race Analysis Runners 5 Going Good Distance 2 miles (3200m)

Race Overview

With £30,000 up for grabs the Musselburgh executive must have been hoping to attract a decent sized field for this two-mile 0-100 staying handicap for three year olds only, but only five runners have been declared. That said, they are five very interesting horses, most of whom arrive here in very good form.

Three top southern yards have sent representatives on the long trek north in search of the lion’s share of the prize money, with two of the three coming here on a hat-trick, while the other is seeking a five-timer!

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Cigar smoking Sir Mark Prescott

Favourite Timoshenko

Not easy to know what will start favourite for this trappy contest, but Sir Mark Prescott’s Timoshenko goes for his fifth successive win and this master trainer, who has an uncanny knack of placing horses in handicap, looks to have another progressive horse on his hands one again.

Former champion jockey Jamie Spencer

Other Contenders

Life On Earth, ridden by Jamie Spencer (pictured) goes for her third straight win as too does Michael Bell’s Artarmon, who carries a 6lbn penalty. Austrian School is a useful horse on his day, while handicap debutant Gallus is unexposed and despite being the only maiden he looks interesting.

Race Analysis

A small but select field for this good race with two northern hopes trying to fend off a powerful southern-based trio.

The super shrewd Sir Mark Prescott has a typically improving type on his hands once again in the shape of the three-year-old Archipenko gelding Timoshenko, who goes for his fifth straight handicap win following successes at Chepstow (twice), Lingfield and Ayr. Last time out he stepped up to two miles for the first time and and saw it out well against older horses, but the second and third were only rated 49 and 50 respectively and he’s taking on much better opposition this time off a 6lb higher mark. There could be plenty more to come, but he will have to improve plenty to complete a nap hand of victories.

Michael Bell’s Artarmon had been frustrating until everything clicked in a 1m4f maiden at Catterick last month, and he then followed up off just a 1lb higher mark winning unchallenged over an extra two furlongs at Sandown last week. He steps up to two miles for the first time and carries a 6lb penalty and it’s hard to know how much more improvement there is left in him, but this is a considerably tougher task.

Another hat-trick seeker is William Haggas’ LIFE ON EARTH, a filly by US sire Animal Kingdom who has won her last two handicaps over an extended 1m3f in good style. She showed a fine attitude at Windsor last time out but has an extra half-mile to travel now and has been raised 5lb. Like the other two southern raiders she is in cracking form, and fillies can often be worth following when they’re on a roll, so she should run a big race and her top trainer must believe she will stay the trip. She still holds a Group 1 entry at Ascot in October.

Mark Johnston’s is getting very close to being the winning-most Flat trainer of all-time worldwide. His Austrian School is a useful handicapper who has won 4-11 but he has appeared to be just in the grip of the assessor in recent starts, although he’s been taking on very useful rivals at all the big meetings. This might come a little easier to him, although he has been raised 2lb and has to give away large amounts of weight to his four rivals. He may just find one or two too good once again.

The dark horse is Keith Dalgleish’s Gallus, who has run just three times to date, hinting at ability on two of his three runs. He steps up half a mile for this handicap debut off a mark of 72, and his Scottish handler could surely have found an easier opportunity than this for him, so he must believe he has something to offer. It might be well worth monitoring the betting markets for any move for this gelded son of Champs Elysees.

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Betting.net Selection

Life On Earth
11/4
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Betting.net Danger

Artarmon
6/1

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.