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Jack and his chum Why Not Dream as inquisitive as ever

SCOTTISH Cheltenham Trials weekend is the biggest meeting of Musselburgh's jumps season.

It's great to be going there with a runner on both days, although it's safe to say a trip to the Cotswolds next month is not on the agenda for either of ours.

We kick off with JACK DEVINE (4.20) in the veterans' chase for conditional jockeys that closes Saturday's six-race card.

I'm writing that through gritted teeth, as it was originally scheduled to be the first race. Jack's a horse who's at his best when able to bounce off decent ground, so the timing as the first race of the day looked to be absolutely perfect as things stood. But bang goes that theory!

My worry is that it'll get a bit chewed up as the afternoon wears on, as that wouldn't be ideal for him. That said, it's officially good to soft, so it shouldn't be too bad even by race six.

Everything else about this race is right. Two of his hurdles wins came over three miles on good ground at Perth, which is also right-handed and not massively dissimilar to Muselburgh.

He's not the scopiest of horses to go chasing - and he's 0-5 over fences so far - but he's been schooling well enough at home. And the fact he gets to take on six other senior citizens convinced me it's well worth going back over fences for the first time in more than two years in an attempt to break his chasing duck.

Our stable conditional Dylan Johnston is able to claim his full 10lb allowance, so Jack will have no weight on his back and I'm hoping for a really good run.

I see LIMERICK LEADER (3.25) has been priced up as the early favourite for the novices' handicap chase on Sunday.Dobbs and I were delighted with his chase debut, when he wasn't beaten far into third at Musselburgh five weeks ago. That was over two miles, but the extra half-mile of Sunday's race should suit him even better. The handicapper dropped him a couple of pounds for that run to a mark of 101, so we're able to drop him in grade for this race which is another plus.

I think he's got a great chance and so do the bookies. Let's hope we're all right.


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