The North's top jockey is currently on the 13 mark for the new turf season and will be fancied to add to his tally in Musselburgh's opening race, the European Breeders' Fund Maiden Stakes at 2.15. Hanagan partners Las Verglas Star for his boss, Richard Fahey, and this compact sort showed up well in the Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster on his racecourse debut last month.
Oddsmaker, four times a winner at Musselburgh, will again be a popular choice in the 2.50, the TurfTV Selling Stakes. Promising apprentice Andrew Heffernan takes the ride and the Maurice Barnes-trained nine year old will be all the better for his recent pipe-opener at Doncaster. Midlands trainer Jeremy Glover, successful with Luscivious at Musselburgh on Easter Sunday, bids for a follow up victory with Sir Geoffrey in the 8,000 5f dash at 3.25. The front-running Sir Geoffrey is sure to blaze the trail but his aggressive tactics can play into the hands of Musselburgh regular Highland Warrior who came from off the pace to chase home Luscivious in a classier race five days ago.
At Aintree, meanwhile, Kalahari King can land back-to-back victories at the Grand National meeting in the John Smith's Melling Chase.
Ferdy Murphy's top-class chaser won the Maghull Novices' Chase in the style of a very good horse 12 months ago and nothing has happened in the interim to suggest he is anything but.
Third in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham to the impressive Big Zeb – who is absent today – the way Kalahari King was rushed off his feet in the middle part of the race suggests this two-and-a-half-mile trip could be just what he wants these days, and he has already won over the distance as a youngster.