Megan Nicholls Racing Preview – Musselburgh, Sandown & the Irish Gold Cup

BetMGM ambassador Megan Nicholls gives her thoughts on the horse racing world, bringing her insightful opinions and first-rate knowledge exclusively to our blog every week.

This time the former jockey – now a celebrated TV pundit – previews some exciting races, including the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh, the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown and some standout races from Sandown.

But first, she tips one to watch…

One To Watch – Touqet

Touquet is running for my dad in the last race of the day at Sandown. He won his bumper at Sandown, he’s a lovely horse for the future and definitely one for the notebook. He’ll be really exciting when he goes novice hurdling next season.

He’s back in another bumper with a penalty – he’s obviously going to have to improve a bit more but he’s a horse that the team think plenty of and I was really impressed with his attitude and his clear ability on his first start.

Musselburgh 2.15 – Edinburgh Handicap

Enrilo (11/1) is a nice each-way price.

He stays very well, and he's been one of the most unlucky horses in training.

He's probably lost his confidence a bit, having been brought down a couple of times, and, honestly, he is an incredible jumper. He's just been so unfortunate that he's come down when he has, either by horses jumping across him or hampering him.

It was a nice enough return last time out, and I think that will set him straight for a race like this.

He stays extremely well – we know that. If his confidence is back up, he's so talented, and he's back to a really attractive mark, he is a bit of value at his price, here.

Peaches and Cream (4/1 fav) does seem the obvious choice – he's back up to a trip that will be more suitable. He ran OK at Cheltenham when running on, which is a positive. He's previously won over just short of 4 miles; therefore, we know stamina won't be an issue.

He does need to slicken up with his jumping (there were two fiddly mistakes at Cheltenham), but as a whole he jumps well. He's a horse that stays well, and back up to this trip is much more realistic, and I think we could see a big run from him.

Megan’s Selection: Enrilo EW; Peaches and Cream WIN

Sandown 2.35 – Novices’ Chase

Hermes Allen (5/4 fav) is obviously proven at the top level. Evidently it could turn out that his defeat in the Kauto Star was by an absolute champion in Il Est Francais, so there’s no reason to be disappointed – it was a very big run.

Being back at two and a half miles is not a problem for him, especially at Sandown which is a big galloping track. It’s nice to see that the ground isn’t going to be absolutely bottomless. He ought to be winning, he’s a worthy favourite.

I’d have Djelo (4/1) as the forecast. Le Patron (10/3) has obviously been very effective at Sandown, he’s obviously improved for going chasing, but Djelo is possibly being overlooked. He’s been very impressive in his victories this season and we write him off at Lingfield where he was hampered and came down at the first.

Megan’s Selection: Hermes Allen/Djelo Forecast

Sandown 3.10 – Handicap Hurdle

This is a competitive race and it’s nice to see a few more runners. Scamallach Liath (15/2) is going to be my each-way value here. He’s done well since joining Harry Derham and was only narrowly touched off behind an improving horse at Ascot last time in a ding-dong battle with Top Cloud.

Cheek pieces have been re-applied. I think that’s a positive and may help him find a little more. He looks a decent price.

Ed Keeper (9/2 fav) heads the market at the moment – on looks he’d win everything. He’s an absolutely stunning horse, massive, a real chaser in the making. He ran well at Cheltenham last time, possibly a messy jump at the last was the difference between winning and losing to Butch that day, but Scamallach Liath is my pick here.

Megan’s Selection: Scamallach Liath E/W

Leopardstown 3.35 – Irish Gold Cup

Looking forward to this – Galopin des Champ (2/5 fav) is obviously a very short price – it will be a learning curve for everyone to see him and Fastorslow (11/4) to meet again, with both in top form.

I personally think Galopin is the more talented horse and he will take all the beating.

It was pretty clear he was a bit flat when they met at Punchestown at the back end of the season, and I just think he's going to be at the top of his game at the moment. I still think he is the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner for this season, as well.

It will be interesting to see Fastorslow – we could easily be continuing to underestimate him.

But Galopin is a bit of a freak and the way he won last time just shows he's definitely not lost it, and I think the crown will stay with the same winner of last year’s race.

Megan’s Selection: Galopin des Champ WIN

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Odds correct at time of publication but subject to fluctuation

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