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.

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Life & Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Apprentice IT Technician

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...

1st Line Technical Service Desk Analyst IT Apprentice

£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...

1st Line Helpdesk Engineer Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...

Sales Associate Apprentice

£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers