Paul Hanagan: was champion jockey in 2010 and 2011PICTURE: Getty Images
Paul Hanagan loses role
with Sheikh Hamdan
PAUL HANAGAN has lost his job as first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum after five years in the role.
The former champion jockey has not had his contract renewed and his rides on Althibh and Quloob at Wolverhampton on Friday will be his last for the owner.
Hanagan, champion in 2010 and 2011, was recruited by the owner after the retirement of Richard Hills and enjoyed his greatest successes on the filly Taghrooda, winning of the Oaks and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2014.
'A true gentleman'
Hanagan, 36, said: "I would like to thank Sheikh Hamdan for giving me the opportunity to ride some very special horses both in Europe and Dubai over the past five years. I have some great memories particularly of our seven Group 1 wins, two of them on Taghrooda, who gave me my first classic success in the 2014 Oaks.
"Sheikh Hamdan is a true gentleman, it has been a privilege to ride for him, and I would like to wish him and the team at Shadwell every successful in the future."
He added: "I am disappointed our partnership has come to an end, but I have to put these things into perspective particularly at this time when my close friend Freddy Tylicki has suffered life changing injuries. I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say that we are all praying for him."
The pair's best year together came in 2014 when they teamed up with Taghrooda and the Coral-Eclipse with Mukhadram.
The following year the Charlie Hills-trained Muhaarar completed a Group 1 sprint treble with wins in the Darley July Cup, Prix Maurice de Gheest and Qipco Champions Sprint. They were three of 15 wins at Group level for jockey and owner.
Taghrooda was among the best Paul Hanagan role for Sheikh HamdanPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
'A pleasure to work with'
Angus Gold, racing manager for Sheikh Hamdan, said in a statement: "Paul's contract was on a renewable annual basis, and I can confirm that the contract will not be renewed for 2017.
"On behalf of Sheikh Hamdan I would like to thank Paul very much for all his work for us over the last four years; we have enjoyed some great days together and he has contributed enormously to their successful racing careers."
He adds: "On a personal level I would like to pay tribute to Paul's tremendous attitude and fantastic worth ethic; he has been a wonderful team player and a pleasure to work with, and I wish him every success in the future".
Although 2016 began well when Muarrab won the £800,000 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan, it has not been the best of years in Britain for the partnership with Hanagan riding 73 winners, his lowest tally since 2003, 51 of those being for his retained owner though only three at Group level.
Hanagan now has time to consider any offers that come his way, and failing any being forthcoming that he has an unstinting ally in Richard Fahey.