CELEBRATED North Yorkshire sprinter Tangerine Trees may be in the autumn of his career but he has a good chance of lighting up the summer by gaining a 14th career success at Hamilton this afternoon - in a race named after another North Yorkshire speedster.
Trained at Hambleton by Bryan Smart, the nine-year-old runs in the Soba Conditions Stakes, an event named in honour of the 'Queen of the North', trained by the late David Chapman, who won 13 races and rose from lowly beginnings to become one of Europe's top sprinters.
Tangerine Trees gained his best moment of glory in 2011 when he won the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the hands of Tom Eaves at Longchamp.
The veteran is, inevitably, not the the force he once was, but he was beaten only five lengths in the Scottish Sprint Cup - a red-hot handicap - at Musselburgh on his latest start.
It would be great to see him get back in the winners' enclosure this afternoon and he would be assured of a warm welcome on a course where he has won in the past. Eaves is back on board.
George Chaloner can do no wrong at present. The apprentice of the moment, who won last Saturday's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Angel Gabrial, just a week after Baccarat had carried him to victory in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Chaloner teams up with Royal Connoisseur for his boss Richard Fahey, trainer of Baccarat and Angel Gabrial, in the Follow@HamiltonRC On Twitter Maiden Stakes.
The three-year-old has been rather expensive to follow so far, but he was beaten only half a length by Makhfar at Doncaster on Saturday. If he can reproduce that effort in what looks an even easier race this afternoon, then Royal Connoisseur should be able to get his head in front.
Fahey also introduces an interesting juvenile in Spring Offensive in the Avon Gorge Maiden Stakes. There are some potentially useful rivals in opposition, including Mark Johnston's Surewecan and the Kevin Ryan-trained Pipe Bomb, but the Fahey two-year-olds are going so well this season that it would be foolish to underestimate this nicely-bred colt. Tony Hamilton rides.
Gadabout Dancer (2-45), who ran well in defeat at this course a fortnight ago, and recent Thirsk winner Amis Reunis (5-15) are two others to note.
At Brighton, Red Passiflora bids for a quick double in the Streamline Taxis Supports The Martletts Hospice Handicap.
Trained by Sir Mark Prescott, the Cheveley Park-owned filly won at Lingfield four days ago and lines-up here under a 6lb penalty. Prescott makes a habit of rattling up sequences with horses at this time of the year and Red Passiflora may be one to achieve just that.
Kieren Fallon may be able to reward this followers with a first-and-last race double.
Fallon looks an interesting booking for the Dean Ivory-trained High Tone (2.30), who should have benefited from her re-appearance run a fortnight ago, while he also partners recent Lingfield winner Billy Red (5.30) for John Jenkins.
The promising Tryster (3.30) and the consistent Who's The Chick (5.00) are two others with leading claims.
2.15 Spring Offensive, 2.45 Gadabout Dancer, 3.15 Corton Lad, 3.45 Tangerine Trees, 4.15 Master Bond, 4.45 Royal Connoisseur (NAP), 5.15 Amis Reunis.
2.30 High Tone, 3.00 Bereka, 3.30 Tryster, 4.30 Litmus, 5.00 Who's The Chick, 5.30 Billy Red.
Today's other meetings
Bath and Stratford.
Catterick, Chepstow, Kempton, Perth and Windsor.