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Paul Hanagan lands biggest prize yet at Newmarket
CHAMPION Jockey Paul Hanagan capped off a successful weekend at the Newmarket festival with his first Group 1 success in Britain.
The Latchford-born first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum landed the July Cup's £256,000 first prize for former boss Richard Fahey on Mayson, with the heavy going playing into the hands of the David Armstrong-owned four-year-old as he led from start to finish.
Conditions always looked as though they could upset the form in the Group 1 race, the weekend's largest prize, and when ante-post favourite Bated Breath was withdrawn before the race it was apparent that a surprise was on the cards.
The 20/1 winner provided Fahey and Hanagan with their first Group 1 success in Britain, as the pair's only other elite victory came when winning the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp with Wootton Bassett two years ago.
It ended a superb weekend for Hanagan at his new hometown track, with the reigning champion also picking up his first Group success for his new boss when guiding the Richard Hannon-trained two-year-old Alhebayeb home in the Group 2 July Stakes on Thursday.
Hanagan booted home four winners at the festival, with the pair of Group victories coming on top of wins on Jedward in Thursday's handicap sprint and Ghurair in a 7f maiden race on Friday.