Horse Racing: Back champion for a treble

With just 11 days of the turf flat season remaining, champion jockey Paul Hanagan is battling hard to retain his title. He has an excellent record at Musselburgh and can enjoy a good day there tomorrow.

Hanagan has not enjoyed the usual free flow of winners from his boss, Richard Fahey, in recent weeks, but is still managing to keep both Silvester de Sousa and Kieran Fallon at bay and a treble tomorrow will certainly come in handy. He teams up with Irish trainer David Marnane in the British Stallion Stars Supporting Racing Maiden Stakes (3.15) when he rides Golden Halo and the youngster can open his winning account.

A 35,000 guineas buy, he showed promise on his debut at Listowell early last month and then went down narrowly at Rosscommon to an 82-rated juvenile from the powerful Aidan O’Brien yard. The colt was beaten only a head in that seven-furlong contest and should appreciate the longer trip this time.

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Jupiter Fidius can get Hanagan off to a flyer in the opening William Hill Scottish Cup Selling Handicap (2.10). The gelding opened his winning account at this corresponding fixture two years ago and also scored at Beverley last summer and, although he has been beaten in 17 starts since then, he has made the frame in more than half of those starts. The four-year-old was runner-up over this course and distance in August, drops into the basement grade for the first time and is worth supporting with the champ on board.

With arch rivals De Sousa and Fallon likely to doing a double stint tomorrow at both Nottingham and Kempton’s evening fixture, Hanagan will be anxious to amass as many victories as possible and can complete a treble on board Lexington Bay in the William Hill Scottish Cup Handicap (3.50).

Richard Fahey’s three-year-old has developed into a smart young stayer, winning three of his seven starts this term to add to a victory on the sand at Southwell last autumn.

The gelding scored over a mile and a half of this here in the Tradesman’s Derby in June and has thrived since stepping up in trip with recent successes at Ayr and Haydock. A half brother to five winners – including a couple of Listed grade performers – he tackles two miles for the first time, but this test should be well within his capabilities.

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Robin Bastiman does well with the small string he trains at Wetherby and Novalist (2.40) has been in good form this term, winning twice and being placed on four occasions.

Joe Rowntree’s Musselburgh Selections: 2.10 Jupiter Fidius; 2.40 Novalist; 3.15 Golden Halo; 3.50 Lexington Bay