Richard Fahey heaped praise on jockey Paul Hanagan after the formidable combination enjoyed two winners at York yesterday.
Together the pair were one of the dominant forces on the northern circuit a few years ago, with Fahey providing Hanagan with much of the firepower that saw him crowned champion jockey in both 2010 and 2011.
The following season Hanagan moved on to take to take the coveted role as retained jockey to leading owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, but after that five-year stint came to an end at the end of the 2016 season, Hanagan returned to his roots and he is now back in the Fahey fold.
Fahey and Hanagan were narrowly denied in the opening Jigsaw Sports Branding British EBF Novice Stakes on the Knavesmire, with Ventura Ocean going down by a head to Mark Johnston’s 9-4 favourite Chapelli, ridden by James Doyle.
However, Hanagan was at his very best in the following Mr Green’s Gentleman’s Day Handicap as 7-1 chance Society Red kicked for home early and passed the post three lengths to the good.
Fahey said: “On paper it looked a very warm contest. It was a very falsely-run race and I thought Paul rode a very canny race. He kicked and got them all at it.
“Sometimes we can knock jockeys for bad rides, but that was a fantastic ride.”
The Musley Bank team were on the mark again in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Handicap, with 14-1 shot Starlight Romance powering home to deny The Great Wall by a neck.
Karl Burke and Ben Curtis combined to land the seller with Chains Of Love (8-1), beating the Fahey-trained and Hanagan-ridden 6-4 favourite Mr Buttons by three-quarters of a length.
Les Eyre has done a fantastic job with Sandra’s Secret, who claimed a hat-trick with a neck defeat of Excellent Times in the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap.
Love Island star Chris Hughes, who went to school with Sam and Willy Twiston-Davies, is ready for the biggest challenge of his life when he rides in the Best Western Hotels & Macmillan Ride of their Lives at York today.
Having ridden at various levels from a young age, Hughes will be one of a dozen riders raising money for the cancer charity.
Hughes will ride Carnageo, who is trained in Malton by Fahey.
Hughes has been putting in the hard yards at Jonjo O’Neill’s Jackdaws Castle yard in Gloucester and has also ridden out at Fahey’s yard.
“I’m delighted. It’s been a hugely challenging, yet unbelievably exciting five months,” said Hughes.
“I have been working extremely hard with Jonjo O’Neill and Dominic Elsworth to prepare for this and can’t thank them enough. I’ve always wanted to be a jockey and they have helped make it a reality.
“The experience has been fantastic but there’s still a way to go and I’m really looking forward to competing on Saturday and raising some money for Macmillan Cancer.”
Each participant has pledged to raise £3,000 and last year’s event topped £150,000.
A charity auction, available to view online - www.macmillanyorkraceday.co.uk - also helps raise funds.