Paul Hanagan flies back to Britain from Dubai today and is set to join forces with his old boss Richard Fahey at Doncaster tomorrow as the 2013 Flat turf season bursts into life.
Hanagan, who will be returning to Dubai early next week to ride at next Saturday’s hugely valuable World Cup fixture at Meydan, will partner five horses for Fahey at tomorrow’s curtain-raiser and could well have a couple of winners.
With more than 80 juveniles in his care this season, Fahey has chosen Lord Clyde to represent him in the opening William Hill Brocklesby Stakes and Hanagan’s mount has secured a favourable looking draw in stall 15 of the 17-strong field.
The strength in depth in this race is impossible to gauge given that all these runners are seeing a racecourse for the first time, but Lord Clyde represents a Malton stable which annually does well with its two-year-olds and it would be no surprise to see this speedily-bred son of Sahkee’s Secret come out on top.
Hanagan is also fancied to land the Park Hill Hospital Handicap on Heaven’s Guest, who appears to start the campaign on a favourable mark.
The Musley Bank gelding shaped well in all his three races in the second half of last season, scoring at Catterick in the last of them. This looks a trappy contest, but there is surely more to come from Heaven’s Guest as a three-year-old.
Allnecessaryforce could go well for Hanagan and Fahey in the William Hill IPad Handicap, but the Richard Hannon-trained Ronaldinho, winner of three of his eight races as a juvenile last year and successful on this course, may be able to defy top weight.
Hanagan dons the colours of his boss Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum aboard Munhamer in the YESSS Electrical Maiden Stakes. He has never raced before so it is impossible to be dogmatic about his chances, but he is a nicely-bred son of Iffraj and he comes from the Newmarket stable of champion trainer John Gosden.
Ryan Moore can clinch the feature race on the first day aboard Model Pupil in the William Hill Doncaster Shield.
Trained by Charlie Hills, the four-year-old won one of his three races last season, having never appeared as a juvenile, and finished placed in the other two. He looks a useful horse in the making.
John Quinn runs an interesting horse in the crownhotel-bawtry.com Gentleman Amateur Riders’ Handicap in Red Tyke and it looks significant that the Norton trainer has made a point of getting the services of Ryan Hatch, a talented rider, who notched a winner at last week’s Cheltenham Festival.
Red Tyke, who goes well on soft ground, paid his way on the flat last season and also over hurdles in the autumn and shaped with real promise when fourth at Carlisle recently, his first run since last October.
That outing should have put him spot on for this mile and a half contest.
Today’s action at Wolverhampton sees Chosen Forever bidding to follow up her win on the course last month.
Trained by Geoff Oldroyd for Pocklington owner-breeder Reg Bond, Chosen Forever aims to follow on from the memorable win last Saturday of the stable-star Ladies Are Forever, who notched her second successive Listed success on the Surrey course.
Also worth noting at Wolverhampton are recent winners Shawkantango (2.30) and Tyrur Ted (4.45).
2.30 Shawkantango, 3.05 Haadeeth, 3.35 Gabrial The Duke, 4.10 Availed Speaker, 4.45 Tyrur Ted, 5.15 Spring Tonic, 5.50 Chosen Forever.
Today’s other meetings: Chepstow, Huntingdon and Kempton.
1.25 Lord Clyde, 2.00 Ronaldinho, 2.30 Model Pupil, 3.00 Red Tyke (NAP), 3.35 Heaven’s Guest, 4.10 Fieldgunner Kirkup, 4.45 Munhamer, 5.20 Aerodynamic.
Tomorrow’s other meetings: Newbury, Sedgefield and Wolverhampton.