Trio jockey for glory as race for Hanagan's title hots up

In signing a retainer for Sheikh Hamdan, Paul Hanagan knew perfectly well that he had almost certainly forfeited any chance of a third consecutive jockeys' title. A four-timer at Hamilton yesterday reiterated that he can still accumulate the quantity, whenever the quest for quality permits. But the big meeting at Ascot this weekend could well provide equal impetus in both the race to succeed Hanagan, and the one for the trainers' championship.

The three jockeys apparently in contention for his title are all looking to take their seasons up another gear. Ryan Moore, on 77 winners, bids to give his boss, Sir Michael Stoute, a first Group One success since the 2010 Arc when Sea Moon contests the Betfair King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes tomorrow. William Buick, emerging as a challenger on the back of John Gosden's outstanding form, rides the defending champion, Nathaniel. And while Richard Hughes does not have a mount in the big race, he is hoping to profit from the increasing momentum of Richard Hannon's juveniles.

Today, for instance, he rides Havana Gold, a Teofilo colt who turned over an odds-on stablemate at Newmarket last month; and he partners Toronado, another debut winner, in a listed race tomorrow. Going into last night's meetings, Buick and Hughes had 65 and 62 winners respectively, with Hanagan now on 57.

Gosden, meanwhile, could go top of the prizemoney table if Nathaniel can trouser a purse of £567,100. The big man has already amassed almost exactly £2m, and so stands just over £400,000 behind Aidan O'Brien. The latter saddles St Nicholas Abbey, very easy to back on the sponsors' market on the race in recent days.

For Hanagan, meanwhile, it was just like old times. Stoute had sent one of Sheikh Hamdan's lesser animals to Scotland to break his maiden, enabling Hanagan to team up with his former employer, Richard Fahey, for three more winners – notably Sparkling Portrait, who had been all but brought down at Royal Ascot. "It was sticky, mucky ground, and I didn't want to use the stick at all," Hanagan said. "He's still a big baby, and got a bit of a scare at Ascot. But he's a very good horse – he just doesn't know it yet. So the plan was to give him a nice, long run through on the outside, and get his confidence back up."

Hanagan reckons Sparkling Portrait will really come into his own next year, but the colt has the option of a Ladbrokes St Leger trial in the Neptune Investment Great Voltigeur Stakes at York next month.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Mac's Power (3.55 Ascot) Coming steadily back to the boil, meeting traffic last time, and on a fair mark.

Next best

Jungle Beat (5.35 Ascot) Has been racing freely over longer trips.

Where the money's going

Shirocco Star is 7-1 from 8-1 with Paddy Power for the Darley Irish Oaks on Sunday.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links