“I was injured – but I’m riding as good as ever” – Hanagan reflects on the separation from Fahey | Horse racing news

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

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Paul Hanagan celebrates victory over The Ridler, but he got a ten-day ban for the winning ride

Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

By Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer

Paul Hanagan was not at a steamy Royal Ascot on Friday.

Like the Queen – whose absence from Ascot stretched into a fourth day – Hanagan was absent from the main event.

He did not ride Commonwealth Cup winner Perfect Power, the colt trained by Richard Fahey on whose back he clinched the 2021 Norfolk Stakes. once again for Fahey, Hanagan was on duty at Redcar, facing a new future he had not predicted, but spurred on by his last great triumph.

Hanagan’s record for the 2022 reunion royal will stand at a 50-1 winner on a drive. This single excursion to Ascot was not without controversy, as the two-time champion jockey returned home with a ten-day reckless driving suspension, having caused significant interference in the closing stages.

It was a blow for Hanagan – but by winning the Group 2 prize he also began the process of recovering from an earlier setback.

Ryan Pierse (Getty Images)

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The Ridler and Paul Hanagan win the Norfolk Stakes, but the pair drift down the track, hampering a few rivals en route to victory.

The Ridler and Paul Hanagan win the Norfolk Stakes, but the pair drift down the track, hampering a few rivals en route to victory.

Ryan Pierse (Getty Images)

On the last day of May, the Racing Post revealed that Hanagan had lost his role as Fahey’s lead jockey. The 41-year-old was replaced by 24-year-old former Irish champion apprentice Oisin Orr, who was expected to link up with Fahey-trained Clearpoint in Norfolk, only for his intended mount not to be declared. Hanagan kept her spot on The Ridler and made the opportunity count.

It was Hanagan’s only race for Fahey – who he started racing for aged 17 – in the past fortnight. Nor does he have any future reservations for a man with whom he continued to be associated even when he was retained by Sheikh Hamdan for a period of four and a half years.

Speaking after Norfolk, Fahey sought to downplay his decision to appoint Orr.

“It wasn’t really a change, just bringing in a young guy,” Fahey said.

If you happened to be the not-so-young guy we dated, that might have felt like a change. That said, the signs hadn’t been good for Hanagan when he was upset by Perfect Power after a frustrating run at Glorious Goodwood.

Before returning home on Thursday afternoon, Hanagan underscored the significance of his second consecutive Norfolk triumph.

“It was huge for me,” he said. “It allows me to show everyone that I still want to keep going. My confidence stays high and I feel like I’m riding as good as ever. It was a big statement.”

Hanagan now faces a similar challenge.

“Since I was 18, I’ve had two jobs,” he said. “One was with Richard Fahey, the other was with Sheikh Hamdan. Becoming independent is something that is foreign to me. It’s a scary situation I find myself in.

“I was hurt when it happened, but you have to understand Richard’s point of view. I’m 42 this year. Richard wanted someone younger on his horses and you have to respect his decision. I think it could have been done better, but that’s probably a bit up to the two of us.

“I was in that position when I lost Sheikh Hamdan’s job. When things don’t go well with the horses, I’m afraid it’s the jockey who suffers. That’s how it is walk. I get it. I “I’ve been there before and got through it. It’s tough as an independent to get on these top horses, but I’m in a really good place and I feel like I’m riding as good as ever. This is mainly due to my experience. I think that’s a huge plus.”


Friday at Royal Ascot:

2.30 Ascot: ‘She works really well and she’s probably overpriced’ – key quotes from Albany

3.05 Ascot: ‘He’s in the shape of his life’ – Commonwealth Cup analysis and quotes

3.40 Ascot: Why it could be beneficial to look past two Duke of Edinburgh market leaders

4.20 Ascot: Thady Gosden: Inspiral is ready for a race, but it will get better

5:00 a.m. Ascot: ‘She’s been prepared for this’ – Queen’s runner prepares for Sandringham

5.35 Ascot: Can punters trust the Derby’s fast turnaround time in the King Edward VII?

6.10 Ascot: Wesley Ward: We just messed around, but now we plan to get serious


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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 12.20 PM, JUNE 17, 2022

Clyde P. Johnson