Hanagan can enjoy a fairytale return to the saddle in Lowther

Paul Hanagan could enjoy a fairytale result on Thursday in the Lowther Stakes (1:45pm) aboard outsider UMM KULTHUM. Hanagan has been off for six months with a serious back injury and takes two rides at York on Wednesday, but this is his first high profile mount and it is more than the sentimentalist in me that believes he can make it count. Umm Kulthum made her debut at Thirsk over five furlongs and everything went wrong – she fell out of the stalls, was hampered, yet got up late to defeat Digital (who had shown useful form behind the National Stakes winner) and Ballintoy Harbour, who has won comfortably at Pontefract since. She looks a solid proposition each-way at 9/1.

Feeling the love for Romance

Devious Company brings the best form into the sales race (2:15pm) – no doubt – but dropping back to this sharp six in a big field might be a bit of a culture shock for a horse who has raced exclusively at seven, and I’d rather be with HAPPY ROMANCE, a fine scope filly who hit the line hard when dominating the Super Sprint. There could be a fair bit more to come from her at this trip at 5/1.

Love should conquer all, but Beckett’s runner could chase her home

Love will be desperately difficult to beat in the Yorkshire Oaks (3:15pm), but the percentage play against her surely has to be MANUELA DE VEGA at 14/1. There is relatively little evidence to assess where these three-year-old fillies are against their elders, but I have no doubt that Manuela De Vega has improved significantly this year (her defeat of Fanny Logan reading especially well) and she will not mind any cut in the ground.

Beckett at the double?

Ralph Beckett may just double up in the Galtres Stakes (3:45pm) with ALBAFLORA at 7/1. I was pretty impressed with her first time up, more so when she made the ultra-tough Rose Of Kildare pull out all the stops in the Musidora. She did really well that day conceding masses of experience and the dam’s side of her pedigree is loaded with stamina, so she ought to improve for the step up in trip.

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