North Yorkshire apprentice Connor Beasley, who made a big impression last season in his first full year of riding, has been conspicuous by his absence during the winter, but returns to the fray at Wolverhampton this afternoon with a winning chance.
Beasley, who is attached to Michael Dods’ yard near Darlington, rode a couple of winners from a handful of rides in 2012 before coming to the fore last season when he booted home 34 winners and finished on the heels of the leaders in the apprentice championship.
Having purposely sat out the winter months on the advice of Dods, who was keen to protect his 5lb claim, Beasley has two mounts today at Wolverhampton and has a particularly good chance on Dubai Celebration in the Coral Mobile Apprentice Handicap.
The Julie Camacho-trained gelding was a winner here in November and has run well in defeat since, not least when finishing second to Kindlelight Storm on this course just over three weeks ago. He can provide Beasley with the perfect start to 2014.
In the Ladbrokes Handicap, Beasley teams up with Polar Forest but, although Richard Guest’s charge has each-way claims, preference is for John Potts, a fluent winner here a fortnight ago and now set to race off only a 6lb higher mark.
Middleham’s Mark Johnston has every chance of completing a double on the card with Brownsville and Doldrums.
Brownsville was a beaten favourite on this course recently on his seasonal debut, but is turned out this time in blinkers in the Best Odds At bookmakers.co.uk Maiden Stakes. The headgear may enable him to take a further step forward.
Doldrums, who runs in the Coral App Download From The App Store Handicap, is a winner on this course and fancied to go one better after chasing home A Little Bit Dusty here last week. She is awarded the nap vote.
At Musselburgh’s jumping fixture, Brian Hughes, the top northern jockey, can continue his excellent season by winning the Henry Reilly Memorial Handicap Chase on Dingo Bay.
John Wade’s eight-year-old was a handsome seven lengths scorer at Newcastle on his latest start. He faces a tougher test here off a 10lb higher mark, but he is a fairly lightly-raced chaser and there is more to come from him.
Kris Cross may prove the answer to the featured £10,000 Musselburgh Interactive Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Trained by Lucinda Russell, the seven-year-old has an admirable record of consistency. He finished second to the useful Isla Pearl Fisher here on his latest start having previously scored at Ascot.
Blue Kascade can be fancied to defy the wrath of the handicapper after running out a most decisive winner at this venue a couple of weeks ago.
The in-form Pass Muster (3.20), trained by Phil Kirby, and Brian Ellison’s Magic Skyline (4.50) are two others to note on the seven-race card.
3.00 Shawkantango, 3.30 Brownsville, 4.00 Doldrums (NAP), 4.30 Dubai Celebration, 5.00 Rose Kazan, 5.30 Fitzgerald, 6.00 John Potts.
1.50 Solidago, 2.20 Rocky Stone, 2.50 Dingo Bay, 3.20 Pass Muster, 3.50 Kris Cross, 4.20 Blue Kascade, 4.50 Magic Skyline.
Today’s other meeting: Plumpton.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Catterick, Leicester and Lingfield.