Hanagan maintains eight-winner lead as title race enter home stretch

By Sportsmail Reporter

Paul Hanagan maintained his eight-winner lead over Silvestre de Sousa despite drawing a blank at Nottingham before dashing off to Kempton's Wednesday evening meeting, where each man added one more to their respective tallies.

The reigning champion could only manage a couple of second places at Nottingham, while De Sousa opted to give the Midlands venue a miss due to traffic complications following his trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday morning.

Reigning champ: Hanagan heading for his second title

Reigning champ: Hanagan heading for his second title

To rub salt into the wounds De Sousa missed out on a winner when Fair Bunny took the opening PHS Washrooms Handicap.

Hanagan then missed out on a winner himself when he failed to arrive at Kempton in time to partner Night Flash (8-1) in the opener.

Martin Harley came in for the ride and guided James Given's youngster to victory in the Free Entry For Betdaq Members Nursery (Division One).

De Sousa was back in the saddle but was only fifth on Camrock Star.

But he quickly made up for it, guiding the Richard Hannon-trained Intuition to victory in the 6.10pm.

Not to be outdone, De Sousa soon cut the nine-race deficit to eight again (164-156) when partnering Prince Bishop to land the 6.40pm for Saeed bin Suroor.

Both are in action at Southwell and Wolverhampton on Thursday.

The race for the title concludes on Saturday, the final day of the turf season.

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