EVEN though today’s Lincoln meeting on Town Moor is the Flat season’s traditional curtain-raiser, it is one of racing’s oddities that the race to be champion jockey does not start until May 6 when the 2000 Guineas is run at Newmarket.
Yet, while Brian Hughes, Henry Brooke and Danny Cook fly the flag for Yorkshire trainers over jumps, there are a multitude of Flat riders who could be making the headlines in 2017. All in action at Doncaster today, here are three names to follow:
Paul Hanagan: One of a just a handful of Northern-based riders in racing history to become champion when he won the title in 2010, and then 2011, he’s back in harness with his old boss and mentor Richard Fahey.
After being unlucky to lose his role as retained rider to Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, a partnership which yielded Classic glory with Taghrooda, the 36-year-old did not hesitate to move back to Yorkshire – his adopted county – from Newmarket and a successful title charge should not be discounted.
Adam McNamara: The teenage sensation who won last August’s Ebor on Heartbreak City, he now has to handle the weight of expectation while also working for opportunities at Fahey’s Musley Bank stables in Malton where the aforementioned Hanagan will, understandably, have the first call on the best rides.
Jordan Vaughan: Dual Group One heroine Quiet Reflection’s work rider, Karl Burke’s personable apprentice – who rides You’re Fired in the Lincoln – wants to kick on and hopes to make full use of his three pound claim after teaming up with well-connected agent Niall Hannity.