A crack at the Chester Cup could be on the cards for Gordonsville after the six-year-old gave Jim Goldie a third success in the £20,000 Musselburgh Gold Cup.
Deputising for Daniel Tudhope, who was nursing a leg injury having been kicked when riding out, apprentice Gary Bartley brought the 5-1 chance with a perfectly-timed run to lead at the furlong marker and go on to beat Phoenix Flight by two and a quarter lengths.
Goldie said: “We won this in the past with Keep Battling and Reluctant Suitor and it is nice to win it again.
“We will look for another handicap with him and it would be nice to get in the Chester Cup so we will have to see.
“He finished second seven times last season but we have never lost faith in him and he deserved to win a decent race.”
Goldie and Bartley came desperately close to completing a double but Dazzling Light was just touched off by a whisker by the Alan Swinbank-trained, PJ McDonald-ridden Saga De Tercey who was a heavily backed 8-15 chance in the totesport 0800 221 221 Maiden Stakes
They all come alike to James Moffatt and he started the most important week of his training career when sending out Masterofceremonies to record a dramatic success under Royston Ffrench in the £1,942-to-the-winner toteplacepot Selling Stakes.
The 9-1 chance, who was offered at 999-1 in-running on the exchanges at one stage, came from last to first in the final two furlongs and Moffatt, who saddles the favourite Chief Dan George in Saturday’s £200,000 Coral Scottish National, retained the winner without a bid.
He said: “It is his owner Alan Macleod’s first winner and he has been very patient as the horse has had all sorts of problems.
“We thought he would do well as a jumper but he did not like hurdles so it is nice to see him come and win on the Flat for him.”
Martin Dwyer rode his first winner at the course for nearly eight years when he teamed up with the Paul Cole-trained Desire To Excel (8-1) to make all in the totequadpot Maiden Stakes.
Dwyer said: “I don’t come up here very often and I think my last winner at the course was Dominica (trained by Marcus Tregoning) who won a maiden race (September 2001).”
Phillip Makin has wasted no time in getting back among the winners after seven months on the sidelines because of a back injury and was seen to good effect again as he brought Jaconet home in front in the toteswinger Handicap.
The 11-2 winner is trained by David Barron, who said: “She is a quite a nice filly and we will see what the handicapper does with her now before we decide what to do. She has won five of her last seven races so we can’t complain.”
Excusez Moi, backed from 11-1 to 13-2, justified the confidence when defying top weight under Andrew Elliott in the totesuper7 Easter Handicap and Ruth Carr, who trains the gelding for her father Steve Clark, said: “We bought him on Clive Brittain’s recommendation for 13,000guineas at Newmarket last autumn. He ran well at Doncaster last time and we put the cheekpieces back on here.”