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Cheltenham: Festival pointers on offer at Musselburgh

All eyes will be on Musselburgh this weekend as there are likely to be many more Cheltenham clues on offer as the Scottish racecourse hold their trials for the Festival across a two-day meeting.

This fixture is the highlight on the calendar at Musselburgh and not only gives pointers for the Cheltenham Festival, but also the Grand National and Scottish Grand National.

The Edinburgh National and Scottish Triumph Hurdle are two of the most valuable races across the two days.

Stayers' Novices Hurdle may unveil Bartlett hopeful

There are just three runners for the bet365 Scottish Stayers Novices' Hurdle on Saturday at 1:29pm, two of which have entries in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Festival.

Bardenstown Lad is 25/1 for the Albert Bartlett, with the seven-year-old having won three of his four races over hurdles so far, including a victory at Cheltenham over 3m back in October.

John McConnell's runner has had a break from action since his last success and if he returns with another big performance in this Albert Bartlett trial, he could be a serious player for the novice race later in the campaign.

Where It All Began is an interesting entry in the race for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott. He has had just two appearances over hurdles. He broke his maiden at Tramore earlier this month and he is a 33/1 shot for the Albert Bartlett.

Doctor Parnassus heads Triumph Hurdle Trial field

The stand-out runner in the bet365 Scottish Triumph Hurdle field on Sunday at 1:32pm is Doctor Parnassus, with Dan Skelton's novice having prevailed by 10 lengths on his debut over hurdles at Ascot last month.

The son of Make Believe failed to get off the mark on the Flat, but his future looks much more promising now he is over obstacles in National Hunt racing.

This latest assignment is going to be a much tougher test for him and it is likely going to reveal a lot about his prospects for the Triumph Hurdle, for which the Lodge Hill runner is currently 33/1.

We saw an impressive performance last weekend from Pied Piper, who is now the 5/2 market leader for the novice race at the Festival and Skelton will be hoping to see a big run from his horse which enhances his reputation on the track.

Innatendue and Swinging London also have Triumph Hurdle entries and are in the field along with Doctor Parnassus.

Related Horse Racing News

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Cheltenham: The Stayers' Hurdle: All You Need To Know

First Street represents strong Supreme team

Nicky Henderson is expected to have a strong team for the Supreme Novices' Hurdles this year, as he bids to win the curtain-raiser for the Festival for a fifth time.

One of those horses is likely to be First Street, who appears in the bet365 Scottish Supreme Novices' Hurdle on Sunday at 2:05pm.

The Seven Barrows runner has shown a lot of promise over hurdles this season and  has been successful on three of his four outings.

His latest win came at Kempton where he blew the field away by over seven lengths. That was his run since having wind surgery in October and the five-year-old novice hurdler is 33/1 for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle.

Stablemates Constitutional Hill and Jonbon are likely to be ahead of First Street in the pecking order for the 2m contest, but he can prove he also has strong claims if he wins this Musselburgh race in good fashion.

Brorson going for a hat-rick

Brorson goes into the Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle on Sunday at 2:40pm with strong hopes.

After victories at Catterick (2m3½f) and Southwell (3m½f) respectively, Martin Keighley's gelding comes into this race looking to complete a hat-trick.

The six-year-old has prevailed by a combined margin of 28 lengths in his last two starts. He stepped up in trip at Southwell with no problem and the handicapper has reacted to that latest success by rising him 13lb in the ratings.

If Brorson does win comfortably again, it may be the last time we see this horse in a handicap contest. He is entered for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the Festival where he is 40/1 in the ante-post market. 

Streets Of Doyen is another runner in this Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Series Qualifier who is down to run at Cheltenham in March.

McConnell's runner refused to run at Cheltenham back in November, but keep an eye on this horse at the start, as his Festival appearance could rest on whether he races this time.

The Galway winner is 100/1 for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase and 100/1 for the National Hunt Chase.

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