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Apprentice championship race hotting up for ace Amy Ryan
North Yorkshire shooting star Amy Ryan, who has a two-winner lead over Darren Egan in the race for the apprentice championship, can add to her advantage at Musselburgh this afternoon.
Bidding to become only the second female rider to clinch the junior title, following Hayley Turner who tied for top honours in 2005, Ryan teams up with nap selection Monthly Medal in the opening Drinks Direct At Batleys Selling Handicap.
The nine-year-old, trained by Wilf Storey, has been running well lately and finished second on his latest outing at Newcastle last week, after looking sure to win only to flatten out inside the final furlong.
A hold-up horse, who needs to be produced late, Monthly Medal is dropped in grade here and can provide Hambleton-based Ryan with another vital winner in her quest to be champion.
Phillip Makin, stable-jockey to Kevin Ryan, Amy’s father, returns from suspension with good prospects of making an immediate impact aboard Leitrim Pass in the British Stallion Studs Supporting British Racing Maiden Stakes.
The Newmarket raider, trained by William Haggas, shaped with promise on his debut at Yarmouth last month to finish third. He should be wiser this time and is expected to step up to the number one position.
Common Touch, owned by Nicholas Wrigley, the former York Racecourse chairman, in partnership with Kevin Hart, was a winner at Ayr last month and had previously scored at Newmarket.
He can be expected to go well for Richard Fahey and Freddie Tylicki in the featured Batleys Scotland Handicap, but the concession of 9lb to the useful Green Howard, trained by Robin Bastiman, may prove too much.
The Isle Of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky Handicap is the other feature race on the card and this two-miler may finally present Jonny Delta with a winning opportunity.
The five-year-old is an infuriating customer, but he is more than capable of winning and is given another chance with Joe Fanning on board and on a course where he has scored in the past.
His trainer, Jim Goldie, also runs two others in this race, Gordonsville and Los Nadis, winner of the corresponding contest last year and also successful at Ayr last month.
The eight-race Musselburgh card also features two divisions of a sprint handicap, in which Cocktail Charlie (4.20), who has slipped to a very favourable mark, and the speedy Almond Branches (4.50) make plenty of appeal.
At Newcastle tomorrow, when conditions promise to be very testing, Tony Hamilton can be on the scoresheet after getting back from Canada. The Norton jockey was in action last night aboard Barefoot Lady for boss Richard Fahey in the $1 million E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.
Hamilton can score on Jason Ward’s Gladsome (4.00), a creditable second here last time, and Fahey’s Above The Stars (4.30), who will appreciate the step back up to six furlongs and is napped to resume winning ways.
Also worth noting are the mud-loving Lakeman (3.00) and last week’s Catterick winner Blue Dune (5.00).
1.40 Monthly Medal (NAP), 2.10 Leitrim Pass, 2.40 Green Howard, 3.15 Jonny Delta, 3.45 Pavers Star, 4.20 Cocktail Charlie, 4.50 Almond Branches, 5.20 Stormy Morning.
Today’s other meetings: Salisbury and Windsor.
2.00 High Troja, 2.30 The Lark, 3.00 Lakeman, 3.30 Lady Sledmere, 4.00 Gladsome, 4.30 Above The Stars (NAP), 5.00 Blue Dune, 5.30 Fly Solo.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Huntingdon, Leicester and Wolverhampton.