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Johnson takes aim at Hughes' crown

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Jumps racing returns in Britain today with a meeting at Southwell and, in line with current protocols, we already know what will be running 24 hours earlier than we usually do.   (stock photo)

Jumps racing returns in Britain today with a meeting at Southwell and, in line with current protocols, we already know what will be running 24 hours earlier than we usually do. (stock photo)

Jumps racing returns in Britain today with a meeting at Southwell and, in line with current protocols, we already know what will be running 24 hours earlier than we usually do. (stock photo)

Jumps racing returns in Britain today with a meeting at Southwell and, in line with current protocols, we already know what will be running 24 hours earlier than we usually do.

A clutch of well-known connections are out to steal a march on day one. Among them, trainer Olly Murphy and jockey Richard Johnson - out to regain his crown this season from Ulsterman Brian Hughes - are represented by St Gallen in the In Memory Of Gary Parr Handicap Hurdle.

The seven-year-old was a disappointment when bidding for a hat-trick last summer but returns after an encouraging pipe-opener on the Flat, having had a wind operation and wearing a tongue strap for the first time.

Murphy has a notable contender in the preceding signsolutions.org Handicap Hurdle as 10-year-old Hunters Call finally returns to the track following his big win in an Ascot Grade Three on stable debut in 2017.

He may well be ready for it too, but Chapmanshype was also in unstoppable form when last seen and is four years younger than his rival.

Mackaar can strike on his return to the all-weather in the Try Our New Runner Boost At Unibet Handicap at Kempton.

Roger Varian's four-year-old has raced exclusively on turf since last April, and has put up some decent performances in useful company.

Mackaar finished last year with two relatively uninspiring runs, however, and was gelded over the winter. This mile-and-a-half trip looks spot on for him.

KEMPTON: 4.40 Basilicata, 5.10 Ivadream, 5.40 Horn Of Plenty, 6.10 Make Haste Slowly, 6.45 Coltrane, 7.15 MACKAAR (NAP), 7.45 Dargel, 8.15 True Destiny, 8.45 Global Hope.

LEOPARDSTOWN: 4.25 Zozimus, 4.55 Ridenza, 5.25 So Suave, 5.55 Passing Trade, 6.30 Waterville Lady, 7.00 Toora Loora, 7.30 Believe Jack, 8.00 Blue Wood.

MUSSELBURGH: 12.15 Disco Beats, 12.45 Nibras Again, 1.20 Night Moment, 1.50 Innings, 2.20 Asdaa, 2.50 Aegeus, 3.20 Imperial Focus, 3.50 Nearly There.

SOUTHWELL: 12.00 Oxwich Bay, 12.35 Tidal Watch, 1.10 The Greater Good, 1.40 Can You Believe It, 2.10 Enemy Coast Ahead, 2.40 Let Rip, 3.10 Chapmanshype, 3.40 St Gallen, 4.10 Get An Oscar.

TIPPERARY: 1.00 Hesamanofhisword, 1.30 Russian Diamond, 2.00 Basil's Boy, 2.30 Moll Dote, 3.00 Not So Simple, 3.30 Dommage Pour Toi, 4.00 Give Him Time, 4.35 Mr Jackman.

DOUBLE: Mackaar and Dargel.

Belfast Telegraph