Racing: Hills is Dee man to follow with Musalsal

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The Independent Online
Just after they have taken the Cellophane off their diaries at the beginning of the year Robert Sangster and Barry Hills turn to early May and put red ink around the Chester meeting.

Sangster likes the Roodeye as it is his home course and he marked this year's pilgrimage with Top Cees's victory in the Chester Cup yesterday. Hills is the training maestro of Deva, where he likes to take the Cheshire air and buckets of prize money.

The Lambourn man's most reliable fundraiser arrives today in the shape of the Dee Stakes, a Listed race he has won four times since 1985. Hills makes sure he does not bring his worst horses here, as the victories of Blue Stag, who went on to be placed in the Derby, and the subsequent Irish Derby winner, Sir Harry Lewis, testify.

Today's carrier of the faith is MUSALSAL (nap 2.40), who is available at 50-1 with William Hill for the Derby. The Sadler's Wells colt virtually pulled his teeth out early on during his reappearance at Doncaster, but eventually showed a decent turn of foot to win. His Leicester victory last season also looks more persuasive following yesterday's Cheshire Oaks victory of the runner-up that day, Kyle Rhea. Musalsal can now beat the other form horse of the race, Barnum Sands, who was fourth in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket, a Listed contest which produced Tuesday's Chester Vase winner, Panama City.

The Ormonde Stakes contains one of the naughtiest horses in training. If Election Day was a schoolboy he would have worn out the headmaster's slipper, such is his errant behaviour on the racecourse, where jockeys regularly have to take the cane to him. This is not to say that Election Day (next best 3.10) is without ability, and his most compliant days occur when the going is soft.

That Man Again (3.40) races from the front and with his advantageous draw he may be able to skirt around this circuit like a greyhound bunny. The chestnut is 7lb lower than when winning at Haydock in 1995 and showed his most promising form for some time on his Newbury reappearance. The course looks ideal too for Antonia's Double (2.10), whose outside berth is not insurmountable in such a small field.