Paul Hanagan '“ Turf Topics: Aiming for the Beverley Bullet with Kimberella

It was brilliant to ride a winner at the celebration of top-quality racing that was The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2017.

York winner: Sands of Mali and Paul Hanagan triumph in the Gimcrack Stakes.
York winner: Sands of Mali and Paul Hanagan triumph in the Gimcrack Stakes.

Any winner at York is one to be cherished, and mine was made all the sweeter by some placed finishes.

Team Musley Bank and I have even higher hopes now for Sands Of Mali after his victory in the Group Two Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack.

I said last week that he was still raw as he headed for only his third outing. He’s also a big colt and still growing, so to give Richard his first win in a race of such stature as the Gimcrack was a real bonus. I had booked a seat at the 244th Gimcrack Dinner after partnering Muhaarar to victory three years ago, so I have a black tie ahead of the 247th!

I think Sands Of Mali will get further than the six furlongs. I felt he was doing his best work in the closing stages and, in all honesty, I had a job to pull him up. Anything is possible now, and it could be a Group One run next time, perhaps at Newmarket where he holds an entry in the Juddmonte Middle Park.

Toscanini and Great Prospector each ran really well when second in their respective races, the Group Three Sky Bet City Of York Stakes and the Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes.

They’re both horses to look forward to in future races.

I have just the one ride today. That’s the Cheveley Park Stud-owned Exhort at Thirsk, the track closest to my home. She should have a great chance in the 2.20pm after winning for me at Haydock in mid-August.

Hopefully, it’s a quick drive down the road, ride a winner and then back home in time for tea!

I’m busier at Beverley tomorrow.

Kimberella is an absolute star and targets the feature, the Listed Beverley Bullet at 3.15pm. I won on him at Chester, when he did it the hard way from the front around the Roodee. I rode him at Musley Bank a few days ago and he was really bouncing.

Another to mention is Mudaarab in the 5pm handicap. Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who is in fine form after Ulysses won the Juddmonte at York last week, this horse is unbeaten in two races on turf. This will be my third ride this season for owner Sheikh Hamdan, my employer until last year. I am delighted to have been booked for this horse who should have an excellent opportunity. It would be nice to have a winner in those blue and white silks again.

The four days at York last week were most enjoyable, and it won’t be long before we’re back on Knavesmire.

That’s a week on Sunday for The Family Raceday when, as well as all the races for us professional jockeys, there is also a Charles Owen pony race for budding riders as well as pony rides for younger ones. If you prefer cuddly bears to horses then look out for appearances at intervals by Paddington.

Children are admitted free of charge at York on Sunday 10 September. To book adult admissions from £10 see