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Nemushka can strike for Fahey and Hanagan in York opener

York’s Saturday card opens with a tricky mile and a quarter handicap for fillies. Paul Hanagan faced a difficult choice this weekend with the choice of Mukhadram in the feature race here or Ektihaam in the King George at Ascot.

He has chosen to go to the Knavesmire and can start the day on a winning note on the improving Nemushka. The daughter of Sakhee looked a bright prospect in her two-year-old days but lost her way a little bit last season.

Connections had to settle for a win in a handicap at Yarmouth off a mark of 75. They clearly believe that there is more to come from the filly but she has been slow to find her form this season.

She hinted at a return to form at Thirsk last month when an unlucky fourth and won nicely at Leicester over this distance, beating Tuscania by a length and a quarter. She is only 1lb higher than her Yarmouth victory and looks capable of following up.

Fahey also saddles Mystery Bet, the mount of Tony Hamilton. She has shown little in her two races this term but was a course winner back in October.

Velvety is an interesting contender having landed a gamble in her only previous start. That came in a modest maiden at Windsor and any market move for the daughter of Bernardini is worth noting.

Frankie Dettori rides Our Obsession for William Haggas and she also has plenty of room for improvement. She has not raced since winning her maiden last season at Newmarket by three lengths.

Northern Star was dropped in class after being well beaten in the Lingfield Oaks trial but she had to work hard to win at Bath. Christmas Light made some late headway behind Chancery at this course last time out but has more on her plate here. Maven looks to have plenty to do under top weight.

Selection: Nemushka

Danger: Velvety