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The Press Family Raceday: Paul Hanagan’s the main man
11:19am Saturday 8th September 2012 in Sport
Paul Hanagan, leading rider at York in recent years, can prove the darling of Knavesmire once again on The Press Family Raceday tomorrow.
Now based in Newmarket, after taking over the plum role of retained jockey to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum after spending 16 years in Malton , dual-champion Hanagan is fancied to complete a four-timer on the seven-race card.
In the opening two races, Hanagan teams up with former boss Richard Fahey, of Malton, aboard useful mounts Asgardella and Right Touch.
Asgardella made a winning debut at Ayr when getting home in a driving finish. She took time for the penny to drop that day and should be all the better for that experience.
Asgardella now runs in handicap company for the first time in the Judith Marshall Memorial Nursery and does not look overburdened. She does have a wide draw to overcome but, hopefully, Hanagan can steer her into a good position from an early stage. She carries the nap vote.
In the Minster Alarms Maiden Stakes, Hanagan and Fahey join forces with Right Touch, owned by former York race committee chairman Nicholas Wrigley and Kevin Hart.
Right Touch has shaped well in his two runs to date, at Ripon and Newmarket. He has every chance of making it third time lucky.
Hanagan rides Jawhar in the Coopers Marquees Handicap. The four-year-old came good at Yarmouth last time and has the scope to follow up for Newmarket trainer William Haggas, who also provides Hanagan with another winning opportunity on Heeraat in the York 800 Handicap.
The three-year-old won over this course and distance at the Ebor Festival , beating Profile Star by a neck. The two re-oppose here and, although there should be precious little between them, Heeraat is fancied to have the edge again.
The £33,000 Celebrating 45 Years Of Betfred Garrowby Stakes, a Listed race, is the feature race on the card and Mince, trained by Roger Charlton, is expected to take plenty of beating.
Winner of her last two races, at Ascot at Pontefract, Mince is already proven in Listed class. This is a competitive race, but the three-year-old should take all the beating.
Mick Easterby has a large following at York and Up Ten Down Two should give the veteran Sheriff Hutton handler a big say in the Castles UK Educational And Residential Furniture Handicap over an extended two miles, the longest race on the card.
A winner at Wolverhampton three starts ago, Up Ten Down Two was narrowly beaten into second at Nottingham last time. He can make the most of his light weight in this long-distance event.
The meeting ends with the Future Cleaning Services Apprentice Handicap and the vote goes to Scottish raider Vittachi, trained by Alistair Whillans.
The five-year-old finished second at Ayr on his most recent start and may not have to improve much on that effort to go one better. In the saddle is Malton apprentice Laura Barry, who gained a notable Knavesmire win at the Ebor Festival on 33-1 shot Mary’s Daughter.
York: 1.50 Asgardella (NAP), 2.25 Right Touch, 2.55 Mince, 3.30 Jawhar, 4.00 Up Ten Down Two, 4.35 Heeraat, 5.05 Vittachi.