Racing: Justalord maintains Balding's record

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The Independent Online

John Balding has made three visits to Musselburgh this year and for the third time he went home happy yesterday as Justalord won the £10,000 showcase handicap in the hands of the trainer's son-in-law, Jason Edmunds.

With Edmunds always coaxing him along, the five-year-old held on by a neck from the top weight, Sharp Hat, who was attempting to achieve his 21st success on his 135th racecourse appearance.

Balding, who is based 230 miles away from the course at Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, said: "I am beginning to like it here. We have had only four runners at the course this year. Matty Tun was first and Absent Friends fourth in the Scottish Sprint Cup in May.

"Then we brought a two-year-old, First Eclipse, and that one won. And I told Justalord's owners we were not bringing him up today just for the fresh air."

Gregorian had an even longer journey across the border, travelling 300 miles overnight from his stables at Elton, Gloucestershire, and the trip paid dividends as he showed the way home under Dean McKeown in the claimer.

The colt's trainer, John O'Shea, was at Bath, but his representative, Eamon Redmond, said: "Everything was down to Dean. He carried out his instructions to the letter and gave the horse a super ride."