Double delight as Hanagan ends his champion reign on a high
Outgoing champion jockey Paul Hanagan earned the riding plaudits at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Friday after a quick-fire double at the track.
The two-times champion jockey, who will pass on his title to Richard Hughes on Saturday, kicked off his 99-1 double with victory aboard the Clive Cox-trained Melbourne Memories in the Listed EBF Express Cafes Bosra Sham Fillies’ Stakes.
Sent off a 9-1 chance, the daughter of Sleeping Indian followed up her win at Ascot last month when powering one-and-a-half lengths clear of the field under the Newmarket-based jockey.
“Melbourne Memories loved the ease in the ground and I think she will stay seven furlongs in the future — Paul was very complimentary about her,” said winning trainer Cox.
Hanagan visited the winners’ enclosure again just 30 minutes later after teaming up with old boss Richard Fahey as Bridle Belle stayed on strongest in the 12-furlong fillies’ handicap.
“Bridle Belle is a really tough and genuine filly and stays all day,” said Hanagan. “She really gallops well on the softer ground and it would take a tough horse to pass her.”
Stetchworth-based jockey Michael Hills bowed out of the saddle with a winner at his local track after getting Winter Song up late in the day to take the opening six-furlong maiden.
“The ground was very soft out there, but she is a tough filly,” said Hills. “She found five furlongs too sharp last time out. Hopefully it will be onwards and upwards with her next year.”
Teenage jockey Hannah Nunn celebrated a milestone in her fledgling career after riding her first winner at the track when steering home Boonga Roogeta to glory in the apprentices’ series final mile handicap.
Trained in town by Peter Charalambous, the three year old had just enough in reserves to hold off outsider Masters Blazing and record her fourth win in five races.
“The key to her and this winning roll is the soft ground. It has taken plenty of races for her to switch on but she has finally got there,” said Charalambous.
Amralah built on his debut fifth behind subsequent Mill Reef Stakes winner Moohaajim when battling hard to land the seven-furlong maiden, while top weight proved to be no barrier in the concluding two-mile handicap for Ardlui, who ploughed through the soft conditions under Fergus Sweeney.
On Saturday the Jane Chapple Hyam-trained Mull of Killough followed up his win at the track last month in the Group Three Darley Stakes when taking the Listed Piper-Heidsieck James Seymour Stakes.
Kept close to the pace by George Baker, the six year old ran out a two-and-a-half-length winner of the 10-furlong contest.
Another runner to benefit from being kept handy was Pure Excellence who battled on gamely to land the Listed EBF Piper-Heidsieck Motrose Fillies’ Stakes.
Tracking favourite Desert Image for much of the race, the brave two year old made her decisive move under jockey Joe Fanning a furlong out before going on to score by a length and a half.
The Betfred Ben Marshall Stakes, the afternoon’s final Listed contest, saw French Navy make a welcome return to form.
Trained in town by Mahmood Al Zarooni, the four year old, who finished ninth last time out, quickened up well under Mickael Barzalona to take the mile contest by three lengths.
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Weather for Newmarket
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North