Veteran rider Paul Hanagan joined a very small group of jockeys on Tuesday evening when landing his 2000th of his career that has seen him win races and accomplish things that he never thought would be possible.
Hanagan has had an illustrious career throughout his years in the saddle landing some huge races over the years and also finishing as champion jockey on two different occasions.
The 40 year old rider bought up the milestone win on board the Michael Herrington trained Anif in the Bombardier Handicap at Newcastle and landing his landmark winner at Gosforth Park meant even more to the rider than usual.
This was because back in February the jockey took a nasty fall at the all weather track and after breaking his back it was feared he would never race again.
However, needing 24 wins to hit 2000 winners, he managed to do it at the place that could have stopped him riding for good and was very overwhelmed when interviewed after the race.
The highlights of the season for Hanagan have been a Group Three win on Umm Kulthum at the Ayr Gold Cup meeting and then for the first time in his career he landed the Cambridgeshire handicap at Newmarket on board the big priced Majestic Dawn.
(Credit ATR) Hanagan told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s a story in itself – February time I broke my back here and then to ride my 2,000th winner here, you could start a book already. What a feeling.
“You never want to throw away winners, but I wish it could have been for Richard. It’s just the way it panned out – he’ll be just as happy as anyone. I couldn’t have done it without the support from him and my agent Richard Hale, who I’ve been with since 17. He’s got a champion jump jockey in Brian Hughes and a two-time champion with me, so he’s done an incredible job.
“If someone had said to me when I was 16 or 17 I’d get to 2,000 winners and luckily (have) all the success I’ve had, I wouldn’t have quite believed them. I owe my success to a lot of people and I’ve been very lucky to have been around good people. I’m so chuffed.”
Having landed back to back jockey titles in 2010 and 2011, he then became the retained rider Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and that saw him land big Group One races including the Epsom Oaks and King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the John Gosden trained Taghrooda, the Coral Eclipse aboard Mukhadram for William Haggas and partnered Charlie Hills’ champion sprinter Muhaarar to three Group One successes in 2015.
Hanagan when asked about his career said: “I’ve had so many good days, so many great winners, I’ve been very lucky throughout my career.
“If some had to stand out, obviously my Classic winner Taghrooda at Epsom, but some races maybe mean more like winning the Ayr Gold Cup on Fonthill Road, which was one of the yard’s favourites and my favourite with lovely owners, those are just as special.
“I’ve been very lucky, but I think to ride a Classic winner, as a lad from Warrington that hadn’t had much racing background, there’s probably hope for everyone!”