Mulrennan Aims to Retain Crown

Paul Mulrennan has no intention of relinquishing his crown as top jockey at Beverley ahead of the track's curtain-raiser on Wednesday.

Mulrennan has held the title of leading rider for the last two seasons, having in 2014 secured an impressive 12 winners at the East Yorkshire venue.

The jockey now has his sights firmly fixed upon another fruitful summer on the Westwood.

"Beverley's been a really happy-hunting ground for me, and long may it continue," said Mulrennan.

"It's quite a tricky track, and some of the southern lads can find it hard when they first ride there, but I've got quite a lot of experience at Beverley and I've grown to love it.

"I've been leading jockey the last two years so it's important to keep the run going."

Mulrennan partners Desert Ace in the feature event on the seven-race card, the Supporting RAPT And Bridges, Hull Handicap, at 3.05pm.

He also receives the leg-up aboard the Kevin Ryan-trained Qatar Falcon in the Audrey Mary Kettlewell Memorial Handicap (4.15) and Nickscreamcracker, who makes his debut for Ruth Carr in the Beverley Annual Badgeholders Stakes (3.40).

Mulrennan said: "Kevin's horse looks quite nice and should go well.

"Desert Ace is a good horse, too, but the big trouble is we are not very well drawn.

"Hopefully I can still make a good start and get amongst the winners."

The North Yorkshire-based jockey enjoyed an outstanding season in 2014, with 102 winners in the calendar year.

This summer he is again expecting big things from the Michael Dods-trained Mecca's Angel, who won a Group Three at Newbury in September on her last outing as a three-year-old.

Mulrennan will also keep intact a long-standing partnership with Group Two-winning sprinter Moviesta, who is now in training in Ireland with Eddie Lynam.

"Fingers crossed I can stay clear of injuries and kick on this year," said Mulrennan, whose season two years ago was blighted by an awful fall at Hamilton in the autumn.

"I'm really looking forward to riding Mecca's Angel. She's a lovely filly and should have a good year.

"Michael was on about running her in either the Palace House at Newmarket or in a race at Longchamp (Prix de Saint-Georges) a week after that.

"I think he's edging towards France as the ground would probably be more suitable for her.

"There's also Moviesta. I know he's gone out to Eddie Lynam in Ireland now, but the owners want me to still ride him and that's great news.

"Eddie has developed a bit of a reputation of being the king of sprinters so he's a very good contact to have."

Racing at Beverley begins at 1.55pm with the Welcome Back To Beverley Maiden Stakes, which features a clutch of intriguing Newmarket raiders.

Head groundsman John Morley reports near-perfect conditions for the first of 19 fixtures at Beverley.

He said: "There’s plenty of moisture around at this time of year, so we’ll be starting on nice, good ground – without the need for watering.

“Wednesday looks like an ideal day for racing, with temperatures set to reach around 18C.”