Premier Jump Action North of the Border

News | 1st February 2024

Premier Racing comes to Scotland for the first time when Musselburgh stages its big jumps meeting of the year

Great Prizes

The popular course will host the two-day bet365 Scottish Cheltenham Trials fixture this weekend.

The ITV cameras will focus on the action at the course, situated on the banks of the Firth of Forth just outside Edinburgh, on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 of February.

Prizemoney totaling £430,000 is up for grabs attracting some of the top trainers, jockeys and owners to a particularly picturesque corner of Scotland.

The meeting kicks off with the Frodon Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

The race is named in honour of one of jump racing’s most popular horses.

Recently-retired Frodon won at the Scottish Cheltenham Trials meeting in 2017 before going on to record Grade 1 wins in the Ryanair Chase and the King George VI Chase later in his career.

The feature race of Saturday’s card is the Edinburgh National.

It will be the first £100,000 jumps race held at Musselburgh and it is expected to attract Grand National hopefuls taking their next step towards Aintree.

Mighty Thunder was successful in the marathon chase three years ago before making the trip to Ayr from Lucinda Russell’s Perthshire base little more than two months later to land the Scottish Grand National.

The Scottish County Hurdle and the Scottish Stayers’ Novices’ Hurdle are other notable races on an superb opening day card.


Sunday Action

Sunday’s card is equally as impressive. The £80,000 Scottish Champion Chase – for the Bowes-Lyon Trophy – is the feature contest.

It’s supported by the Scottish Triumph Hurdle, the Scottish Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, a trio of competitive handicaps and a bumper race.

It all forms the glittering highlight of Musselburgh’s jumps season. Combined with an excellent Flat season, the dual-purpose track is a racecourse on the up.

That’s not to say it hasn’t got plenty of history. The best part of 250 years of it, to be more precise.

There’s been racing held in or around Musselburgh since 1777. It moved to its present site just a furlong or two from the Firth of Forth in 1816.

Despite its coastal location it’s still only six miles east from the centre of Edinburgh.

The racecourse was actually called Edinburgh up until 1996 despite being known as Musselburgh among locals and Scottish racing fans.

It officially changed its name the year after a £7.5million refurbishment plan was put in place to modernise facilities at the course.

Runners at Musselburgh

All You Need To Know

It’s a generally flat, right-handed track with two long straights and two fairly sharp bends.

In 2012, an all-weather surface was installed on the turn away from the stands after the turf had become churned up over the years.

The Flat course has a five furlong straight, which has a slight dog-legged left-hand bend around halfway. It is one of the sharper sprint courses in Britain and the Scottish Sprint Cup attracts some of the quickest handicappers in Britain.

The Listed Queen Of Scots Stakes is the highest class of Flat race run at the track. Other significant contests are the Royal Mile and the Queen’s Cup.

This weekend it is, obviously, it is the jumpers who will have racing fans flocking to Musselburgh in their thousands.

It’s a Premier fixture that really lives up to its billing.