sport

Hanagan back in business

A review of the pick of the action from Pontefract where Paul Hanagan made a triumphant return to action.

Paul Hanagan warmed up for the four-day Ebor Festival when landing a double on his comeback from injury at Pontefract.

The dual champion jockey had been determined to test his fitness in time for York, where his rides include Taghrooda for his boss Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum in the Yorkshire Oaks, after damaging his arm in a horror fall at Goodwood on July 29.

And he made a successful return on Imshivalla (5-2) for trainer Richard Fahey, for whom he used to be stable jockey, in the CGC Events For Conference & Banqueting Handicap.

He made all of the running as the three-year-old filly swept to her third win over a mile at the course this season, beating Lockhart by two and a half lengths.

"I'm just glad to be back," said Hanagan. "I've done as much as I could, but I was very sore. There's only one way of getting it right and that is by riding.

"The last couple of weeks have been difficult but I've been in this game long enough to know what happens. I'm looking forward to York now."

Fahey's assistant, Robin O'Ryan, said: "This horse likes the hill here. Once a filly starts improving you never know when they're going to stop. It's helped her going up to a mile and letting her bowl along. She seems to relish it."

Hanagan enjoyed a 100 per cent return on the day when steering Hesbaan (10-11 favourite) home in the totepool Supporting The Sport You Love Maiden Stakes for his main patron.

He had the Marcus Tregoning-trained gelding to the fore to register a straightforward two-and-a-quarter-length verdict over Flawless Pink.

"He's done it well and it was a valuable maiden. The prize-money's good here," said the trainer.

"He's a nice, sound little horse. He's been a bit unlucky."

Fahey had earlier struck with Grandad's World (3-1 favourite), who made a winning debut in the British Stallion Studs EBF Trevor Woods Memorial Maiden Stakes, storming away under Tony Hamilton to score by three and a quarter lengths from Canny Kool.

The Richard Fahey-trained youngster came with a rattling run under Tony Hamilton to lead inside the final furlong after Charlie Lad and Canny Kool had set the pace to storm away and score by three and a quarter lengths.

Canny Kool kept on for second, with Robin Park putting in tidy work at the finish for third place, a further length and three-quarters away.

Fahey's assistant, Robin O'Ryan, said of the 3-1 favourite winner: "We've always liked this horse and he did it well. Tony was impressed with him.

"I'm sure he will get further, but he's won nicely at five (furlongs) so why change it? We'll take him home and see where we go next."