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Jockey Paul Hanagan can take Cambridgeshire Handicap honours
The Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap is conspicuous by its absence from Paul Hanagan’s long list of major triumphs, but the former Malton jockey can set the record straight tomorrow by clinching the first leg of the Autumn Double aboard Mukhadram, trained by William Haggas and owned by Hanagan’s current boss, Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
Lightly-raced, Mukhadram has won two of his four races and went down fighting when second to Sovereign Debt over a mile on the July course in mid-July.
He has since been aimed at this race. The extra distance should suit him and, provided his lack of experience does not count against him, he promises to be capable of making a bold bid.
Among the dangers are Chil The Kite, Bronze Angel and Tom Tate’s North Yorkshire raider, Prince Of Johanne, winner of this race last year at 40-1 and successful since in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.
Haggas looks set for a profitable afternoon. He also has bright prospects in the Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes with Rosdhu Queen, a filly who needs no introduction to North Yorkshire racegoers.
She opened her account on her debut at Ripon and, after winning in Listed company at Newbury, she completed a hat-trick in last month’s Lowther Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival .
She will need to raise her game once more in this prestigious Group 1 contest, but such a task might not be beyond her.
Haggas has a couple of other cracking chances on the Newmar-ket card with nap selection Cape Classic and Sun Central.
The former came good at Doncaster last time and is fancied to follow up in the Racing UK Handicap, while Sun Central has enjoyed a sound first campaign and should be capable of getting into the thick of the action in the Baileys Horse Feeds Handicap.
The programme at HQ kicks off with the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes, sponsored by Juddmonte, and Mark Johnston has strong claims with Steeler, the mount of Kieren Fallon.
The Middleham colt has improved each time he has stepped on a racecourse and there was much to like about his latest Listed win at Goodwood. Tough and talented, he will not go down without a fight.
In the Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes, is Beauty Parlour, a French Classic-winning filly, who has now joined Sir Henry Cecil. She boasts high-class form and this looks a good opportunity for her to make an instant impression for her new handler.
Whatever the fate of Haggas at his local Newmarket venue, the trainer can make an impact at Haydock with Sholaan in the feature race, an event he would be more than pleased to win.
The £30,000 Joseph Heler Cheese Lester Piggott Handicap is run in honour of the legendary jockey who rode his first and last winners on this course. Piggott, who is expected to present the trophies, is Haggas’s father-in-law.
Sholaan, an impressive York winner in the summer, ran a blinder to finish fourth in the Ayr Gold Cup last Saturday.
Also worth noting at Haydock are the tough-as-teak Lady Kashaan (4.25) and the promising Gabrial The Thug (5.00).
1.55 Steeler, 2.25 Rosdhu Queen, 3.00 Beauty Parlour, 3.40 Mukhadram, 4.15 Red Turban, 4.50 Cape Classic (NAP), 5.25 Sun Central.
2.05 Society Pearl, 2.35 Polish World, 3.15 Sholaan, 3.50 Oojooba, 4.25 Lady Kashaan, 5.00 Gabrial The Thug, 5.35 Anton Chigurh.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Chester, Market Rasen, Wolverhampton.
Today’s meetings: Haydock, Newmarket, Stratford, Wolverhampton.