PAUL HANAGAN has a late start to Easter Saturday, but the former Malton-based champion is expected to end the day in style.
With no rides at Kempton's afternoon meeting, Hanagan travels instead to Nottingham's evening fixture and has several good chances of putting his name on the scoreboard.
Into his third season based in Newmarket as retained jockey to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maaktoum, Hanagan, pictured, can score for his boss on the John Gosden-trained Zerfaal in the opening Nottingham Racecourse Ladies Day 10th May Maiden Stakes.
Although a beaten favourite at Kempton on his reappearance at Kempton at the end of last month, Zerfaal finished an encouraging runner-up and is likely to have benefited from that race following a single juvenile outing.
There is no lack of potentially nice horses from leading stables in this race, but Zerfaal should have a leading chance hailing from the in-form Gosden yard.
In the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap, Hanagan teams up with his former boss Richard Fahey when he partners Skye's The Limit.
The three-year-old shaped well when finishing fourth to Signore Piccolo on this course earlier in the month. He can step up on that performance this evening.
Altaayil is a most interesting mount for Hanagan in the Join Us For Ladies Day Maiden Stakes. Owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, the three-year-old is impeccably bred by Sea The Stars out of the very useful Alleluia. He makes his debut in a race full of largely unknown quantities, but he is plainly not a horse to overlook.
Burtonwood, the mount of Adam Kirby, represents Fahey in the IJF 50th Anniversary Maiden Stakes and is napped to gain compensation for his slender defeat on his debut.
The Acclamation colt failed by a nose to beat the more experienced Flyball at Leicester a fortnight ago on soft ground. This sounder surface should suit him better and he is napped to go one better.
Over the sticks at Haydock, Sheriff Hutton trainer Mark Walford bids to win another decent prize with Fentara in the Tim Molony Handicap Chase.
Jake Greenall's mount claimed a useful handicap at Kelso a couple of weeks ago, contributing to a purple patch for Walford, who has had a bunch of winners on the Flat and over jumps with his last dozen or so runners.
Fentara has climbed to a lofty mark, but she should go well in this long-distance event.
Philip Hobbs has enjoyed a season to remember and the Minehead trainer has a couple of useful chances at the Lancashire track.
His French recruit Val d'Arc merits attention in the Marie Turner Easter Bonnet Memorial Limited Handicap Chase after winning one of his three runs over fences across the Channel, while in the totescoop6 Millionaire Maker Handicap Chase, Hobbs has good prospects with Bincombe, a winner at Newbury and on this course on his last two starts.
Also worth noting are the in-form Bold Chief (2.05), who underlined his well-being at Uttoxeter on his latest start, and Songsmith (2.40), who looks to be coming to hand after two outings, following a lay-off which stretches back to 2012.
1.30 Val d’Arc, 2.05 Bold Chief, 2.40 Songsmith, 3.15 Bincombe, 3.50 Fentara, 4.20 Horatio Hornblower, 4.50 Howwrongcanyoube.
4.45 Zerfaal, 5.15 Burtonwood (NAP), 5.45 Dawn Catcher, 6.15 Skye’s The Limit, 6.45 Meteoroid, 7.15 Altaayil, 7.45 Winter Spice.
Today’s other meetings: Bath, Carlisle, Kempton and Newton Abbot.
Mussleburgh, Plumpton and Towcester.