Paul Hanagan overjoyed to ride 2,000th career winner

Former champion has battled back from injury to record landmark success.

  • Tuesday 03 November
  • News
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Paul Hanagan joined an elite list of riders on Tuesday when partnering the 2,000th winner of his illustrious career.

Twice crowned champion jockey, Hanagan rode 15-2 chance Anif for Michael Herrington in the Bombardier Handicap at Newcastle, travelling nicely at the rear of the field before getting the gaps when needed and finishing strongly.

The 40-year-old missed the first half of this truncated season as he was still recovering from a fall at the Gosforth Park track in February that was to prove a serious one, having suffered a back injury that nearly brought his days in the saddle to an end.

The Warrington-born rider needed 24 to reach to landmark on his return to action and after a relatively slow start his season really picked up the pace in recent weeks.

A Group Three win on Umm Kulthum at the Ayr Gold Cup meeting was swiftly followed by his first success in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket aboard Majestic Dawn, trained by Paul and Oliver Cole.

Since his return Hanagan has also registered Listed wins on Exceptional and Pythagaros for his boss, Richard Fahey – his oldest ally, with whom he has been based almost exclusively since 1999 and enjoyed many big winners together.

Hanagan told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s a story in itself – February time I broke my back here and then to ride my 2,000th winner here, you could start a book already. What a feeling.

“You never want to throw away winners, but I wish it could have been for Richard. It’s just the way it panned out – he’ll be just as happy as anyone. I couldn’t have done it without the support from him and my agent Richard Hale, who I’ve been with since 17. He’s got a champion jump jockey in Brian Hughes and a two-time champion with me, so he’s done an incredible job.

“If someone had said to me when I was 16 or 17 I’d get to 2,000 winners and luckily (have) all the success I’ve had, I wouldn’t have quite believed them. I owe my success to a lot of people and I’ve been very lucky to have been around good people. I’m so chuffed.”

Champion apprentice in 2002, Hanagan went on to secure the champion jockey title in successive campaigns in 2010 and 2011.

That achievement saw him land the coveted role of retained rider for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum for a couple of seasons.

In that time he won the Oaks and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on John Gosden’s brilliant Taghrooda, the Coral-Eclipse aboard Mukhadram for William Haggas and partnered Charlie Hills’ champion sprinter Muhaarar to three Group One successes in 2015.

Looking back on his winners, Hanagan told Great British Racing: “I’ve had so many good days, so many great winners, I’ve been very lucky throughout my career.

“If some had to stand out, obviously my Classic winner Taghrooda at Epsom, but some races maybe mean more like winning the Ayr Gold Cup on Fonthill Road, which was one of the yard’s favourites and my favourite with lovely owners, those are just as special.

“I’ve been very lucky, but I think to ride a Classic winner, as a lad from Warrington that hadn’t had much racing background, there’s probably hope for everyone!”

Fahey added: “Paul has always had a great way. When he won the back-to-back jockeys’ championships, it was a huge effort. 2,000 winners is a huge achievement too – it’s all through dedication and graft – I see jockeys riding 1,000 winners but 2,000 is a huge amount of winners.”

Paul Hanagan overjoyed to ride 2,000th career winner
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