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Knavesmire specialist Paul Hanagan tipped for a treble at York finale
Paul Hanagan, who has ridden 37 winners at York over the last five seasons, can play a starring role in the final round of Knavesmire action in 2012 by completing a treble on tomorrow’s concluding card.
Having left his long-established role as number one jockey to Malton trainer Richard Fahey in the spring, after being snapped up to be retained rider to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Hanagan, now based in Newmarket, still thoroughly enjoys returning to North Yorkshire venues.
Among his excellent chances on the seven-race programme is the Maktoum-owned Heeraat, who is fancied to lift the featured £75,000 Coral Sprint Trophy for Newmarket trainer William Haggas.
The four-year-old is already twice a winner on Knavesmire this season. Successful in the apprentices’ race at the Ebor Festival, he followed up in stronger company on The Press Family Raceday last month.
He is a fast-improving sprinter, and although he faces his toughest task to date here, he might be able to remain one step ahead of the handicapper.
Hanagan can also win the Coral Backing Macmillan Cancer Support Handicap on another Maktoum-owned runner, the John Gosden-trained Lahaag.
Unraced last year as a juvenile, Lahaag has won two of his three starts this season. This £20,000 event represents a step up in class for him, but he looks a decent prospect in the making.
Hanagan can complete a treble aboard Mystery Bet, trained by his former boss Fahey, in the Text ‘Mobile’ To ‘60006’ Maiden Stakes.
The well-related juvenile went down fighting in third on her debut at Haydock over six furlongs. This extra furlong ought to suit her and she can emulate Mickdaam, who won the race 12 months ago for Fahey and Hanagan.
Fahey has another good chance in the £40,000 coral.co.uk Rockingham Stakes with Mary’s Daughter, a winner over course and distance at the Ebor Festival, who has since run well to finish second in Pattern company at Ayr. Marginal preference is for Royal Rascal, a winner at this venue earlier in the season and a filly who has made significant progress since. She represents the in-form Tim Easterby yard.
Also worth noting at York are Geoff Oldroyd’s impressive Ayr winner Jamaican Bolt (2.05) and the Tim FitzGerald-trained French Hollow (4.55), a course winner, who gave notice of returning to form when second at Ayr on his latest start.
Norton trainer John Quinn gives the final York meeting a body swerve for a very good reason. He is Newmarket-bound with Countrywide Flame, who is selected to land the £160,000 Betfair Cesarewitch Handicap.
Winner of the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, the versatile Countrywide Flame returned to action, after a well-deserved summer holiday, with a pillar-to-post win over two miles at Chester last month.
That should have teed him up perfectly for this marathon test and, despite a 4lb penalty, he is entitled to make a bold bid.
The top-notch Newmarket card also sees Kevin Ryan saddling Gimrack winner Blaine in the Vision Middle Park Stakes.
However, he will do well to lower the colours of nap selection Reckless Abandon.
2.00 Bachotheque, 2.30 Model Pupil, 3.05 Green Howard, 3.40 Anderton, 4.15 Natural Bloom, 4.50 Gabrial The Thug, 5.20 Maven (NAP).
Today’s other meetings
Bath, Carlisle and Wolverhampton.
2.05 Jamaican Bolt, 2.35 Lahaag, 3.10 Royal Rascal, 3.45 Heeraat, 4.20 Mystery Bet, 4.55 French Hollow, 5.30 Shamdarley.
1.50 Libranno, 2.20 Reckless Abandon (NAP), 2.55 Dawn Approach, 3.35 Countrywide Flame, 4.05 Scintillula, 4.40 Trading Leather, 5.15 Producer.
Tomorrow’s other meetings
Chepstow, Hexham and Wolverhampton.