Hanagan targets top spot

PAUL Hanagan's flying start to the season has made him an unlikely leader in the jockeys' championship and he hopes to build on his lead at Hamilton today where he has five rides.

Propelled by a brilliant treble at Musselburgh last night (Silvanus, Alben Star and Glenluji), Hanagan has snatched the lead from reigning champion Ryan Moore 72-68 and has prospects of adding to his tally today during the last of five June meetings at the Lanarkshire track.

Hanagan's main source of firepower has been Richard Fahey's stable, and the prolific pair can team up once more with Mayson in the opening maiden.

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The jockey has also been riding occasionally for Linda Perratt on his forays north of the Border and he can give the Scots trainer a winner on the consistent High Resolution in the Weatherbys Bank Handicap.

In the Hamilton finale, Ace Of Spies - the mount of Silvestre De Sousa - carries the nap.

Meanwhile, Mark Johnston's Monterosso will enjoy a short holiday after being beaten into fourth in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Sunday.

The colt was sent off favourite for the Curragh Classic following his success in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, but was ultimately unable to land a blow as Cape Blanco led home a 1-2-3 for Aidan O'Brien.

Johnston feels his charge was caught out in the middle part of the race before battling on again at the finish and he believes there is still plenty to look forward to for the remainder of the campaign, although stamina concerns may keep him out the St Leger. "Only time will tell if it was a bridge too far for him or whether the race just came too soon after Ascot, but having watched the race back he really did make up an awful lot of ground," said Johnston.

"He was still only beaten three lengths and I think he must have made up 20 lengths in the straight.

"He shot his bolt a little bit early. We haven't made any definite plans with him but he'll certainly have a break now."