North Yorkshire rider Jason Hart, who was crowned Britain’s champion apprentice last November, returns to the racecourse at Southwell today.
A score of 51 winners in 2013 was more than enough to enable Hart, who is attached to Declan Carroll’s Sledmere yard, to take the title, which fellow North Yorkshire rider Amy Ryan had secured the previous year.
With 20 winners still to ride before he becomes a fully-fledged jockey, Hart has protected the remainder of his 3lb claim by not riding this winter, but with the new Flat turf season only just around the corner, he is now ready to return to the fray.
Hart has two mounts on the Fibresand circuit and his best chance of a comeback winner appears to be aboard Fredricka in the bookmakers.co.uk Maiden Stakes.
Trained near Doncaster by Garry Moss, the filly ran some decent races last season as a juvenile, including with Hart on board, but just missed out on getting her head in front, finishing second three times and third twice.
If she is fit enough to do herself justice on her first outing of the year, Fredricka could provide Hart with a memorable return.
Moss also has another winning chance with Grace Hull (4.50), a winner last time out at Wolverhampton, who has run creditably on this course on several occasions.
Norton jockey Tom Eaves has strong claims in the opening handicap aboard nap selection Frankthetank (2.20).
Keith Dalgleish’s gelding won by five lengths here last week and looks up to defying a penalty.
Gogeo (3.20), winner of a handicap and a jumpers’ bumper on this course on his last two starts, is fancied to oblige once more for Alan Swinbank.
Meanwhile, Masterful Act, a six-times course winner, has every chance in the feature race on the card, which sees David O’Meara’s useful Frontier Fighter stepping up to 11 furlongs for the first time.
Over the sticks at Ludlow, Cloudy Joker bids to make it four straight wins over fences in the Bet On Your Mobile At corbettsports.com Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Donald McCain’s charge has taken well to the major obstacles, rattling up a hat-trick of wins on this course, Musselburgh and Catterick. This is tougher, but he is certainly one to respect.
The £20,000 Forbra Gold Cup is the feature race on the card and it represents a nice opportunity for Rouge Et Blanc to come out on top under Tom Garner.
Oliver Sherwood’s nine-year-old finished fourth to Mr Moonshine in a decent race at Warwick last time and had previously been placed at Wincanton and Wetherby.
In the Follow@corbettsports On Twitter Mares’ Handicap Hurdle, Dancingtilmidnight makes plenty of appeal.
She won two of her three starts over hurdles last season, including one here, and finished a respectable fourth in Listed company at Haydock in the other. She looks nicely handicapped off a mark of 114. Harry Fry’s seven-year-old could be hard to beat.
2.20 Frankthetank (NAP), 2.50 Monsieur Lavene, 3.20 Gogeo, 3.50 Masterful Act, 4.20 Fredricka, 4.50 Grace Hull, 5.20 Repetition.
2.00 Simply A Legend, 2.30 Cloudy Joker, 3.00 Dancingtilmidnight, 3.30 Rouge Et Blanc, 4.00 Bhakti, 4.30 Island Life, 5.00 Santo Thomas.
Today’s other meetings: Kempton and Taunton.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Doncaster, Lingfield, Newbury and Wolverhampton.