EAGLE ROCK, twice runner-up this season at York, shifts along the A1 to Doncaster today with every chance of getting his head in front for the fifth time in his career.
Trained at Hazlewood Castle near Tadcaster by Tom Tate, the consistent gelding has finished in the frame in his last three starts this season. His two creditable Knavesmire efforts sandwiched an equally creditable third-placed performance at Newmarket.
Having found only Totalize too strong on his latest start, Eagle Rock, a stout stayer, who is a tough horse to overhaul once he is rolling along in front, can put his rivals to the sword in the Betdaq No Premium Charge Handicap over one and three-quarter miles. With Andrew Elliott in the saddle, he is napped to notch a deserved first success of the campaign.
Paul Hanaganhas a handful of good chances on Town Moor and can start his afternoon on the right note aboard Shahralasal in the Betdaq Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
Trained by Roger Varian, this daughter of Oasis Dream shaped like a certain future winner when going down by only half a length to Calypso Beat at Leicester on her debut a fortnight ago. She will be a popular choice among punters to go one better.
Hanagan can ride another winner in the colours of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum aboard Muhawalah in the Betdaq Free Bet Games Bonus Maiden Fillies' Stakes.
Beaten only two lengths into fourth place at Goodwood on her seasonal debut, the three-year-old, also trained by Varian, is equipped with a first-time hood this afternoon. It could well have the desired effect of bringing about some improvement.
Hanagan also has claims aboard the blinkered-first-time Alzammaar in the Cash Out On The Betdaq + App Handicap, but the former Malton jockey may have to play a supporting role in this mile and a half event to his former boss Richard Fahey, who is represented by Innocent Touch.
The three-year-old, a Redcar winner three starts back, has run well in defeat since at York and at Musselburgh last time when finishing third to stablemate Hesketh Bank in a valuable handicap.
The £12,000 Betdaq 3% Commission Handicap is the feature race on the card and Mooharib may be the one to be on. Martin Harley's mount came good at Ripon last time after showing distinct promise in his two previous races. He could be on a handy mark for his handicap debut.
At Newcastle's evening meeting, the Betfred Mobile Gosforth Park Cup takes pride of place and David Nicholls may hold the key with Barnet Fair.
The gelding showed signs of returning to the sort of form he showed for another trainer when winning at Ascot last summer when finishing a close-up sixth to Caspian Prince in the Epsom Dash on his latest start. This stiffer course will suit him even better and although this is a wide-open race, he can score for North Yorkshire trainer Nicholls, who also saddles Fitz Flyer, the bottom weight.
Free Rein (6.40), who showed promise on her debut at Newmarket, and Pelerin (7.10), a good second to Eastern Belle at Newbury a couple of weeks ago, may be able to step up to land the Listed race on the card. Among the dangers to Pelerin, trained by Marco Botti at Newmarket, is Lily Rules, who finished ninth last time out in the Epsom Oaks for Norton handler Tony Coyle, who had previously placed her to finish second in the Musidora Stakes at York.
2.00 Shahralasai, 2.30 Hawkesbury, 3.00 Katawi, 3.35 Mooharib, 4.10 Muhawalah, 4.45 Oh Star, 5.20 Eagle Rock (NAP), 5.50 Innocent Touch.
6.10 Mr McLaren, 6.40 Free Rein, 7.10 Pelerin, 7.45 Barnet Fair, 8.20 Anderiego, 8.50 Cadeaux Pearl, 9.20 Noble Asset.
Today’s other meetings: Musselburgh, Yarmouth, Chester and Newmarket.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Chester, Newmarket, Newcastle, Windsor, Doncaster and Lingfield.