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Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan to get his first Derby ride in 15-year career
Warrington's Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan will ride in the Derby on Saturday, his first ride in the Epsom Classic
PAUL Hanagan is set to realise one of his professional dreams on Saturday.
The two-time and reigning Champion Jockey will partner Chester Vase-winning colt Mickdaam in the Derby at 4pm, the first time in his 15-year career that the Latchford-born jockey has ever competed in the Epsom Classic.
It is the race that Hanagan highlighted following his back-to-back title wins in 2010 and 2011, the race that had eluded him despite his recent successes.
It was his desire to chase Classic rides that prompted Hanagan to accept the title of Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum’s first jockey earlier this year, ending his long-standing residency with Malton-based trainer Richard Fahey in order to move to Newmarket.
So there is more than a hint of irony that despite his recent move, Hanagan will be riding the Fahey-trained Mickdaam on his Derby debut.
Luckily the Hanagan and Fahey partnership has continued to produce results this season, with the 31-year-old rider delighted that he has been able to be a part of his former boss’ excellent start to 2012.
“It has been a good start for everyone,” said Hanagan.
“Richard’s start to the season has been great as well, his yard are going brilliantly and it was always my aim to ride as many winners for him as I could.
“I could not be more pleased with the way things have started and it bodes well for Saturday.”
The Derby ride will not be the only partnership between Hanagan and his former trainer, with the champion set to partner Barefoot Lady in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom on Friday, before riding Euxton Hall in the listed Woodcote Stakes on Derby day.
But his focus will be on Saturday’s high grade line-up, with rides also planned on the Mark Johnstone trained Hajras in the Diamond Jubilee Handicap earlier in the afternoon.