Hanagan picks up title as Hughes draws blank

PAUL HANAGAN won his first ever British Flat champion jockeys` title after Richard Hughes was unable to close the gap on him at Doncaster on Saturday afternoon.

Hanagan went into the final day of the season with 191 winners on the board, two clear of his rival, and with the pair failing to get among the winners on Town Moor, he lifted the trophy.

He said: "I have so many people to thank, but I`d also like to say what an absolute gentleman Richard Hughes has been. I know how hard he has worked. I had a lot of respect for him before but I have even more now."

Hanagan`s boss Richard Fahey said: "It is marvellous, it is some achievement and it is thoroughly deserved."

Hughes was magnanimous in defeat. He said: "I am proud of what I have done but it wasn`t to be.

"It was a great year, I gave it a go but it wasn`t for me."

Both jockeys showed prominently on their rides in the 6f contest which opened the card, with Hughes faring best of the pair to finish fourth. Newcomer Manaaber took the race for Barry and Richard Hills.

Hughes again did best in the second race, with his mount Fettucine finishing third behind Seal Rock.

Hanagan went closest in race three, his mount No Poppy finishing second to Shesastar, who was providing Silvestre de Sousa with his 100th winner of the season.

Race four went the way of the Hayley Turner-ridden Horseradish while the pair both again finished out of the frame in the fifth which went to Ceilidh House. When Times Up won the November Handicap the game was over for Hughes.

The final day of the Flat season got off to a dramatic start when all of the runners bar one - Rational Act - left the stalls. The starter immediately put his flag up and a false start was declared. All the runners were pulled up and able to take their chance in take two.

Despite the battle between the two this year, Paddy Power do not expect the pair to figure in the race for the2011 jockeys` title. They make Ryan Moore their evens favourite, with Kieren Fallon next in at 3-1, while Hanagan is a 4-1 chance and Hughes is given a quote of 7-1.

Posted on 6th November 2010 story by Paul Eacott