Hanagan marks his return to saddle with double triumph

Paul Hanagan made a triumphant return to action in 2011 with a short-priced double on Sharp Shoes and Covert Decree at Wolverhampton.

The champion Flat jockey, whose defence of his crown begins later this month, showed no signs of race-rustiness as he got Sharp Shoes, trained by Ann Duffield, home in the the ATRCasinoClub.com Selling Stakes on his first ride of the year.

Leading inside the final furlong, Sharp Shoes, the 5-2 favourite, just had to be ridden out by Hanagan to score by two-and-a-half lengths from Residency, with Decider half-a-length away in third.

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Duffield was delighted to provide Hanagan with an early success.

“We’ve only run two horses this year and I’m happier now we’ve had our first winner and even happier that Paul Hanagan was on it,” said the Constable Burton handler.

“We’ve got a really good record between us. He didn’t ride that many for us last year, but he had a Listed winner for us and had a few others as we tried to help him win the title.”

There was even better news for Duffield as there was no bid for Sharp Shoes, who will turn out again on Thursday in a six-furlong seller back at Dunstall Park for which he has no extra penalty to carry.

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“Paul can’t ride him as he can’t get from Southwell in time so we booked Mick Channon’s apprentice Martin Harley who claims 5lb,” Duffield added.

Hanagan made all on 30-100 hotpot Covert Decree in the Enjoy The Party Pack Group Offer Maiden Fillies’ Stakes.

Clive Cox’s three-year-old went one better than on her debut as she strode home by seven lengths from Silk Lingerie in a four-runner affair.

Joe Fanning also enjoyed a brace, starting with Gulf Of Aqaba, who provided a 50-1 shock in the Got the Feeling? Get To Ladbrokes Handicap.

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The outsider stayed on too strongly for Leyte Gulf to score by a length-and-a-half and register his first success in 11 attempts.

He made it a 279½-1 double with a narrow win on the consistent Avonrose for Derek Shaw in the Play Roulette At ladbrokes.com Handicap.

The 9-2 joint-favourite just prevailed by a head from Smalljohn.

Shaw, who claimed Avonrose out of Mark Johnston’s stable after she had won at Southwell in December, said: “She’s been very consistent. She’s very tough and genuine and I’m so pleased for the owners.

“She’s won a race for us and hopefully we’ll have a good time with her on the turf.”

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