GBI RACING

Richard Fahey salutes ‘canny’ Paul Hanagan after York double

Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan

Richard Fahey heaped praise on jockey Paul Hanagan after the formidable combination enjoyed two winners at York on Friday.

Together the pair were one of the dominant forces on the northern circuit a few years ago, with Fahey providing Hanagan with much of the firepower than saw him crowned champion jockey in both 2010 and 2011.

The following season Hanagan moved on to take to take the coveted role as retained jockey to leading owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, but after that five-year stint came to an end at the end of the 2016 season, Hanagan return to his roots and he is now very much back in the Fahey fold.

Fahey and Hanagan were narrowly denied in the opening Jigsaw Sports Branding British EBF Novice Stakes on the Knavesmire, with Ventura Ocean going down by a head to Mark Johnston’s 9-4 favourite Chapelli, ridden by James Doyle.

However, Hanagan was at his very best in the following Mr Green’s Gentleman’s Day Handicap as 7-1 chance Society Red kicked for home early and passed the post three lengths to the good.

Fahey told Racing UK: “On paper it looked a very warm contest. It was a very falsely-run race and I thought Paul rode a very canny race. He kicked and got them all at it.

“Sometimes we can knock jockeys for bad rides, but that was a fantastic ride.

“We’re not sure what his best trip is. He seems to be very versatile.”

The Musley Bank team were on the mark again in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Handicap, with 14-1 shot Starlight Romance powering home to deny The Great Wall by a neck.

Fahey added: “It was a great race for us to watch as I always felt once she picked up that she was going to get there.”

Karl Burke and Ben Curtis combined to land the seller with Chains Of Love (8-1), beating the Fahey-trained and Hanagan-ridden 6-4 favourite Mr Buttons by three-quarters of a length.

Les Eyre has done a fantastic job with Sandra’s Secret, who claimed a hat-trick with a neck defeat of Excellent Times in the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap.

Eyre said of the 9-2 chance: “We’ll probably go to Ayr (Firth of Clyde Stakes), that would be going permitted.

“We’ll then probably give her a bit of a break and then go to Ripon (Great St Wilfrid).

“We’d love a bit of black type as I’m sure the owner would like to breed from her when she’s finished.”

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