RYAN MOORE and Paul Hanagan can play a starring role this afternoon on the opening day of Pontefract's new season.
While Moore has spent much of the winter riding in Japan, Hanagan has been in Dubai. But both are now getting back into the swing on domestic soil and both look likely to figure among the winners on this seven-race card.
Moore has been snapped-up by Norton trainer John Quinn to ride nap selection Calculated Risk in the Jamaican Flight Handicap over two and a quarter miles and the five-year-old is entitled to run a big race.
Fit from hurdling and a horse who ran as recently as last month at the Cheltenham Festival, where he finished unplaced, Calculated Risk was a winner on the Flat at Ayr last September.
He steps up in distance here, but he lacks nothing in stamina over hurdles and Quinn, who won this race last year with Hidden Justice, can complete an encore with Moore's assistance.
In the Racing UK On Sky Channel 432 Maiden Fillies' Stakes, Moore has been booked for Danehill Revival by Newmarket trainer William Haggas. A well-bred filly, with plenty of speed in her pedigree, this looks a good opportunity for her to make a winning debut.
Hanagan can make his presence felt aboard Munaaser in the High-Rise Maiden Stakes.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the colt was sent off the 6-4 favourite for his only start last season, but had to settle for third place at Yarmouth after looking green and raw. He should do considerably better this year and is selected to make a winning start.
The New Betting Hall Handicap, with £20,000 in prize money, is the richest race on the card and Centurius may be the one to be on in a contest which has attracted a useful field.
Many of the runners are having their first outing of the season and their fitness has to be taken on trust, but Centurius has had a recent start, finishing third at Wolverhampton, which should have knocked any cobwebs off him.
He also occupied the same position in a York handicap last autumn and is clearly a horse of some ability.
In the New Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap, a whole host of last year's winning juveniles are making a return to action. Once again fitness will be of prime importance.
Quicksawecan looked useful on several occasions last season and may be a good option in this six furlongs dash for Mark Johnston and Joe Fanning.
Johnston and Fanning can also strike with Life And Times, who aims to complete a hat-trick of wins in the Pontefract Loyalty Card Handicap after a couple of all-weather wins.
In the Racing On Monday 14th April Handicap, High Office should go well for Richard Fahey.
The seasoned campaigner finished a good second at Doncaster's curtain-raising meeting and will this time be partnered by 7lb claimer Josh Quinn, a son of lightweight jockey, Jimmy, who is aiming to record the second winner of his career.
At Carlisle's jumping fixture, Indian Voyage bids to follow-up his recent easy Wetherby win off a 10lb higher mark in the ApolloBet Horse Racing Best Odds Handicap Chase. Maurice Barnes' smart gelding will be hard to beat, despite his revised mark.
Tony McCoy continues his relentless pursuit of winners in Cumbria and may be rewarded with a treble courtesy of Supreme Asset (2.20), Moss Cloud (2.50) and Rosslyn Castle (4.25).
2.10 Life And Times, 2.40 Munaaser, 3.10 Quickaswecan, 3.40 Calculated Risk (NAP), 4.15 Centurius, 4.45 Danehill Revival, 5.15 High Office.
2.20 Supreme Asset, 2.50 Moss Cloud, 3.20 Frank The Slink, 3.50 Ben Akram, 4.25 Rosslyn Castle, 4.55 Indian Voyage, 5.25 Un Noble.
Today’s other meeting: Southwell.
Tomorrow’s meetings: Catterick, Kempton, Lingfield and Nottingham.