Saturday 5 November 2011

Hanagan Takes Champion Jockey Title

 Paul Hanagan has successfully defended his Flat jockeys' championship. The Malton-based rider won the title last year when he saw off Richard Hughes after a close-fought battle.
Hanagan faced a similarly stout challenge this season, with both Kieren Fallon and Silvestre de Sousa keeping tabs on him since March. De Sousa narrowed the gap to four with success on Friday evening at Wolverhampton but needed to win on all four of his rides at Doncaster this afternoon. 

Failure to score aboard Geoff Oldroyd's True Bond in the Betfred Mobile Nursery at 1325 meant that he was unable to equal Hanagan's number of wins this season and ensured that the Yorkshireman picked up the title for the second year running.

He said: "It's a big relief. It feels like a big weight has been lifted and it's gone right down to the wire again.
"Last night was incredible but I've stuck at it and kept going.

"This season seemed to come around so quick. It didn't feel like two minutes since the last season ended and the new one began, but in a good way the balls just kept on rolling.

"It didn't feel as hard this year and I definitely learned a lot last season. "It's still been tough but last year I spent a lot of time watching Richard Hughes on TV whereas this year I was mainly riding in the same races as Silvestre.
"He's been riding out of his skin and deserves a lot of respect. We've just had a quiet moment when he came up and shook my hand. "I'm just going to enjoy this."

Paddy Power make Hanagan and Ryan Moore the 3-1 joint favourites for next year's championship with De Sousa and Kieren Fallon next best at 7-2.

Source: Sporting Life