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Paul Hanagan to miss British Champions Day at Ascot
WARRINGTON’S dual Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan will be enjoying a rare Saturday off this week, after his one ride at Ascot for British Champions Day was declared a non-runner.
Hanagan, aged 32, was set to ride the Marcus Tregoning-trained mare Hawaafez for boss Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum in the Group 3 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Saturday, but now faces an afternoon on the sofa instead.
“The plans for this weekend has been a bit of a disaster, as she doesn’t run now because she is lame,” said the Latchford-born jockey.
“I have ended up with a Saturday off, if you can believe it!
“It’s my first Saturday off for many, many moons but sometimes these things happen.
“To be honest I have been absolutely flat out, so it is not the worst news and I might get to watch some football for once.
“It will be strange not having a ride on Champions day though.”
Many thousands of punters and horse racing fans will be tuning in on Saturday to watch racing superstar Frankel bid for his 14th successive win, as the Sir Henry Cecil-trained champion looks to end his remarkable career unbeaten with victory in the QIPCO Champion Stakes.
A step up in trip to one mile and two furlongs is further than the equine megastar has ever raced over before, but Hanagan - who scooped his biggest ever prize with a win in the £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2yo Trophy two weeks ago – believes the extra trip will prove no problems.
“I can’t see Frankel getting turned over to be honest,” he said.
“I think his performance at York sums him up.
“It doesn’t matter what the trip is, he just has that cruising speed and can quicken up so well.
“I’ve never seen anything like him, he is 1/6 in the betting right now and I think that is a pretty good price myself!”