Mayson is not for catching in the Darley July Cup at NewmarketPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Mayson makes all under Hanagan to win July Cup
Report: Newmarket July, Saturday
Darley July Cup (Group 1) 6f, 3yo+
CHAMPION jockey Paul Hanagan made every yard of the running to give himself and old boss Richard Fahey a first domestic Group 1 with Mayson at 20-1.
Terrible weather leading to heavy ground had robbed the race of ante-post favourite Bated Breath and with question marks surrounding many of the runners on this ground the race was open for an upset.
The field split into three soon after the stalls and Hanagan quickly took charge in the middle on Mayson, who had won his first two starts of the season at the Rowley Mile course.
It soon became apparent that the fears many connections had about the going for their runners was correct as one by one the riders got lower in the saddle and elicited almost zero response from their mounts. But not Hanagan on Mayson.
Running into the Dip, the David Armstrong-owned four-year-old kicked clear of his rivals and although The Cheka tried valiantly to catch him he never got close. Society Rock came through for third, while Ortensia ran much better than at Ascot to finish fourth.
The win provided Fahey and Hanagan with their first Group 1 success in Britain. The pair previously teamed up to win mutual first Group 1s when Wootton Bassett landed the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp two years ago.
Fahey said: "I was standing looking at the betting and and he was the outsider of the lot and I was thinking 'this is the biggest joke in a long time'. He's back to his best which is good.
Paul Hanagan: positive on winnerPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
"At York he got very upset and got his back leg caught in the stalls and at Newcastle it was bottomless and he couldn't cope with it. He loves soft ground but not like at Newcastle.
"He's in the Nunthorpe but I'd have worries going back there after that experience but I'll speak to the owners and see."
Hanagan, who left his role as Fahey's stable jockey over the winter to become first rider for Hamdan Al Maktoum, added: "He really enjoyed himself out in front and the big positive was that he loves the ground.
"He jumped so well and I didn't want to take him back and I knew if I could keep him going he'd be hard to peg back - which he was. He's got a lot of speed but I'd rather be looking at races over six furlongs rather than the Nunthorpe."
The Cheka tried the hardest to catch the winner in the closing stages of the race but had to settle for an honourable second.
His trainer Eve Johnson Houghton said: "I am absolutely thrilled with him. We knew he couldn't come from behind so I said just let him bowl along.
"Unfortunately Mayson just got first run on us but good luck to him, we've beaten him, he's beaten us. That's the way it is with sprinters. I should think we would probably head for the sprint on Champions Day at Ascot."