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Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan celebrate Mayson’s Group 1 July Cup triumph in 2012
Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By David Carr
One of the longest and most enduring partnerships in Flat racing looks to have ended after Paul Hanagan revealed his formal association with Richard Fahey is over.
The dual champion jockey, 41, first joined the Malton trainer at the age of 17 and has ridden for him ever since, bar a four-and-a-half-year spell when he was retained by the late Hamdan Al Maktoum.
He returned to Fahey when that job ended and posted an emotional Royal Ascot success on the yard’s Perfect Power last season, having recovered from a career-threatening back injury suffered in 2020.
Hanagan still hopes to ride for the trainer on occasions and said: “There has been no fallout and there never will be, but Richard has decided he wants someone new to ride the horses. I hope I can still ride for him in the future. “
Hanagan was champion jockey in 2010 and 2011, having also won the apprentices’ title in 2002.
Each crown was gained while he was with Fahey and the rider said: “It has to be one of the longest relationships in racing, even when you take out the four and a half years with Sheikh Hamdan.
“I came to Richard when I was just over 17 and I was champion apprentice and champion jockey with him. I have so many fond memories and good horses to look back on, Group 1 winners such as Wootton Bassett and Mayson, and many more. “
Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
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Wootton Bassett wins the 2010 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp for Paul Hanagan
Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Hanagan, who rode his 2,000th British winner in 2020 and will now operate as a freelancer, said: “I feel as though I’m riding as well as ever this season. The results show that and my confidence is high. I’m ready for the new challenge ahead and I’ll be available to as many owners and trainers as I can be.”
Fahey said: “We’ve had some fantastic times together and we have some great memories.”
Hanagan has ridden 939 British winners for Fahey but the biggest victories of his career came on Taghrooda for Sheikh Hamdan and John Gosden in the Oaks and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2014.
Born in Warrington, he started out with Malcolm Jefferson, for whom he had his first ride in public in 1998, before a spell at the British Racing School.
But it was after joining Fahey that Hanagan began to make his name and the pair combined to huge effect to become a formidable partnership in the early years of this century.
He rode 82 winners on his way to the apprentices’ title in 2002, scoring his first major success on the yard’s Vintage Premium in the John Smith’s Cup at York.
Losing his claim did not hinder the jockey’s progress and a string of notable triumphs followed for a partnership which proved one of the most powerful in the north – and plenty good enough to win in the south as well.
Fonthill Road took the Ayr Gold Cup, Greenwich Meantime landed the Chester Cup and Anna Pavlova progressed through handicaps to land the Lancashire Oaks.
The outstanding team’s biggest successes came with Wootton Bassett, an two-year-old who won all five starts in 2010 culminating in the the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp, and Mayson, a high-class sprinter who won the July Cup by five lengths at a muddy Newmarket the same season.
Such success led to Hanagan getting the call to ride for Sheikh Hamdan, for whom his big-race triumphs included the Coral-Eclipse on Mukhadram and the July Cup on Muhaarar.
But the old team got back together after that job ended and they enjoyed further Group 1 glory with Sands Of Mali in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in 2018.
Hanagan feared his career might be over after suffering multiple fractures to his back in a fall at Newcastle in February 2020 and spent six months out of action.
However, he made a full recovery and won the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last year for Fahey, who has provided 11 of the 14 winners he has ridden in a 2022 campaign which did not start until March due to hip surgery.
Paul Hanagan: key dates and achievements
1999: Paul Hanagan’s partnership with Richard Fahey begins as he links up with the Malton trainer as an apprentice.
2002: Hanagan becomes champion apprentice jockey with 84 winners during the year. He also rides his first big winner for Fahey in the John Smith’s Cup at York aboard Vintage Premium.
2004: The jockey records his maiden century with 101 winners during the year and breaks the £1 million prize-money barrier for the first time. He also wins his first Group race on the Fahey-trained Golden Legacy in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes at Ayr.
2010: Hanagan is crowned champion jockey for the first time and records his first and only double century with 205 winners that year. He and Fahey also team up for their first Group 1 success together with Wootton Bassett in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
2011: He successfully defends his title crown in a thrilling battle with Silvestre de Sousa, registering 177 winners that year.
2012: Hanagan takes over from Richard Hills in the prized role as number one jockey for Hamdan Al Maktoum and his Shadwell operation. He teams up with old ally Fahey for his first domestic Group 1 success with Mayson in the Darley July Cup.
Charlie Crowhurst (Getty Images)
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Taghroada and Paul Hanagan are miles too good for the opposition in the 2014 Oaks
Charlie Crowhurst (Getty Images)
2014: Hanagan gains his first Classic success when Taghrooda wins the Oaks at Epsom before she follows up in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes later that summer. He also lands the Coral-Eclipse with Mukhadram in a dream spell for the rider and his retained owner.
2015: Hanagan completes a rare Group 1 sprint treble when Muhaarar wins the July Cup, Prix Maurice de Gheest and British Champions Sprint Stakes.
2016: He rides his last top-level winner for Shadwell when Muarrab wins the Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night, but is sacked from his role in November.
2017: Hanagan joins Fahey back up north and they celebrate a big winner when Kimberella wins the All-Weather Sprint Championships final on Good Friday.
2018: The duo register their final Group 1 together as Sands Of Mali causes a shock when winning the Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot on Champions Day in October.
2020: Hanagan fractures his T3, T4 and T6 vertebrae in a horrific fall in February, but returns to win the Cambridgeshire on Majestic Dawn before riding his 2,000th career winner in Britain at Newcastle in November.
2021: Fahey and Hanagan celebrate a Royal Ascot winner when Perfect Power lands the Norfolk Stakes.
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