Richard Hannon recorded one of the biggest-priced winners of his career after 80-1 shot Haayem secured a length-and-a-half success under 7lb claimer Luke Catton in the Bombardier “March To Your Own Drum” Novice Stakes at Wolverhampton.
Hannon said: “He needed it the other day and I thought seven (furlongs) would be on the sharp side, so I’m amazed he’s won. Al Shaqab owned both the mare (Almaardiyah) and Olympic Glory, so it’s a nice home-bred success.”
On the winning rider, he added: “Luke works very hard and has done a lot with the yearlings. You never hear a peep out of him. It is nice to put him on a few and give him a winner.”
Urban Icon had got the ball rolling for Hannon by taking the feature Listed Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Lady Wulfruna Stakes by three-quarters of a length.
Bendy Spirit (11-1) showed a tenacious attitude to hold off the rallying Odyssey Girl by a neck in the Ladbrokes “Play 1-2-Free” On Football Handicap.
Winning trainer Richard Fahey said: “He is a tough, hardy horse that is progressive and has been running well.
“I thought he was a huge price this morning – the Hannon horse (Ventura Bounty) looked very good and that put me off his chances.”
Hanagan also had news of rider Paul Hanagan, who was injured in a fall at Newcastle last month.
He said: “Paul had a scan this week and he has cracked his T3 and T4 (vertebra) and torn the ligaments on his T6.
“At the moment it doesn’t need operating on and he is out (of hospital) with a brace on.”
El Hombre ended a lengthy losing run as he gained his first win in more than a year with a last-gasp success in the Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap.
Without a win since scoring at the track in December 2018, the Keith Dalgleish-trained six-year-old set the record straight when coming out on top in the six-furlong prize.
Challenged on either side late on, the 8-1 shot did just enough under Joe Fanning to prevail by a head from Wasntexpectingthat.
Fanning said: “He deserved that as he has been a bit unlucky, he needs things to fall right for him and they did today.
“He usually likes to be dropped in, but Keith said maybe sit a bit handy today.
“I thought he had got there, but when he gets there he downs tools. He did it well in the end.”