VETERAN North Yorkshire trainer Mick Easterby has his horses in flying form and aims to strike while the iron is hot with Unex Michelangelo at Musselburgh this afternoon.

The gelding came good with a vengeance at Beverley last week when winning the lady amateur riders' handicap under Harriet Bethell in clear-cut style. And, rather than wait for the handicapper to exact his revenge, the shrewd Easterby is bringing out Unex Michelangelo again in Scotland today to bid for a quick double under a 6lb penalty.

Graham Gibbons, pictured, takes the mount in the Boogie In The Morning Handicap and, despite top weight of 10st 3lb, Unex Michelangelo is fancied to oblige once more.

Samantha Bell is enjoying a good run at present and the Malton-based 5lb claimer has good prospects of adding to her tally of winners at the East Lothian course.

Bell rides Miss Van Gogh for her boss Richard Fahey in the Partnership Challenge Nursery and this daughter of Dutch Art, contesting her first handicap, should relish the step up to seven furlongs after showing glimpses of ability in maiden company three times over shorter distances.

Berbice is Bell's mount in the "Eme Sweepstakes" Handicap and Linda Perratt's gelding has to be of interest after a good effort at Ayr recently when he finished second under the same rider.

Anyone backing Berbice should factor in concerns that he has never yet scored over today's distance of a mile and that he is not the easiest of horses to win with. But the ability is there and Bell's quiet style might just work the oracle on this seasoned performer, who likes to come late in a race.

The feature race on the card is the £25,000 Archerfield Cup Handicap and, although she lacks a recent outing, Lady Kashaan, a course-and-distance winner, is not to be overlooked. Any rain will serve to increase her chances.

The opening British Stallion Studs Conditions Stakes brings together a small cluster of speedy juveniles and Fendale may prove the solution to a tight-looking contest.

Bryan Smart's two-year-old made an impressive winning debut at Beverley, overcoming early greenness to clear right away from his rivals in the closing stages and win by five lengths. There could be plenty more to come from him and although he meets sterner opposition this time, Paul Mulrennan's mount is fancied to make a bold bid.

Ollie Pears is doing well with recent recruit Al Khan and has already secured two wins with the gelding, the latest at Carlisle. The Norton trainer aims to add to his tally with Al Khan and Jake Butterfield's mount looks sure to be in the mix.

Anybody who saw Point The Toes win at Carlisle on Monday evening will surely not be in a hurry to oppose her under a penalty in the Tom Findlay 70th Birthday Amateur Riders' Handicap over two miles.

The Irish mare was winning her first Flat race in Cumbria, but she is a four-times hurdles winner and is plainly a strong stayer. She can win again.

At Haydock's evening meeting, a note should be made of Evervescent in the opening Betdaq Apprentice Handicap.

Norton claimer Joe Doyle teams up with the gelding after winning narrowly on him last time out on this course and the five-year-old is napped to complete a quick double, stepping up in distance.

The promising Marshall Jennings (6.20) and War Paint (6.55), who makes his handicap debut, are two others to consider.


Musselburgh today

2.00 Fendale, 2.30 Miss Van Gogh, 3.00 Berbice, 3.30 Al Khan, 4.00 Lady Kashaan, 4.30 Unex Michaelangelo, 5.00 Point TheToes.

Haydock today

5.50 Evervescent (NAP), 6.20 Marshall Jennings, 6.55 War Paint, 7.25 Lady Poppy, 8.00 Dr No, 8.30 Emerahldz.

Today's other meetings

Brighton, Lingfield and Newmarket.

Tomorrow's meetings

Ascot, Ayr, Haydock, Lingfield, Newmarket and Redcar.