New Year's Day top racing tip: Voix Du Reve set to continue resurgence at Musselburgh

As a new year dawns, Tipstrr's horse racing expert Steve Jones looks to hit the ground running in 2023 by picking out a proven ten-year-old to maintain his recent resurgence at Musselburgh on Sunday.

Unsurprisingly, the early favourite here is the prolific Al Zaraqaan, who has enjoyed four successive hurdling wins since August. 

The latest of those was over this course and distance, albeit beating just five rivals, and he can expect a far tougher examination carrying nine more pounds against tougher opposition.

Under the circumstances, there looks to be some decent value elsewhere in the market, not least in the shape of the veteran top-weight, Voix Du Reve, who has shown definite signs of a resurgence in recent weeks.

14:45 (Musselburgh) Voix Du Reve

He had an impossible task against Constitution Hill in Grade 1 company at Newcastle last time out, but he still significantly out-ran his huge price.

He will enjoy dropping back down into handicap company today, and is clearly more than capable of landing another decent prize in this sphere.

The last time he ran in a handicap over this trip was at Newcastle back in March, when he won a small-field contest convincingly by three lengths when carrying only one pound less than today.

The first of two previous handicaps over this precise trip was in the 2021 renewal of this race, in which he was runner-up by just a neck, when racing off a mark of 145.

The ground was soft that day and, despite pulling hard, he found plenty to hit the front at the second-last and was only marginally run out of it in the closing stages.

Clearly, a similar effort carrying twelve pounds less would give him a very big chance under similar conditions on Sunday.

His only subsequent run over this trip came the following month, when he again finished runner-up off an even higher mark, and proving conclusively his liking for this combination of conditions, getting caught in the closing stages, but remaining five lengths clear of the rest of the field.

Anything like the level of form he showed in that pair of soft-ground course-distance handicaps would be more than good enough to make him a big player off a significantly lower mark, and the promise he has shown against far stronger opposition the last twice bodes well for his chances.

  • Next best: Homme Public

Of the others, the younger Homme Public looks set to go well on the back of a pair of fine efforts from his two outings so far this term.

On his first start for 249 days, he won a Class 3 handicap over two miles at Wetherby last month and, earlier this month, he ran at least as well to carry seven extra pounds into third place in a stronger Class 2 handicap over two miles at Sandown.

He won that maiden hurdle by a clear more than six lengths when conceding twelve pounds to a runner-up who went on to win a handicap at the same track on Boxing Day.

The recent Sandown winner is rated a lot higher than today's opposition and the runner-up has since won by twelve lengths, so that looked a strong heat, so Homme Public has distinct possibilities under these conditions off an unchanged mark, provided the new cheekpieces have the desired effect.

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