November 21, 2010 by Post Team
Hughes has been making relentless progress in recent weeks and had closed the gap to just three before the eight-race card at Dunstall Park. But for the first time in a while Hanagan will be able to sleep a little easier as he is five winners in front with only five days of the season left.
Moreover, Hughes has yet to decide whether he will take the mount on Paco Boy in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Mile in America, which would rule him out of the final day of the season.
“It is a possibility that I might not go to America but I will see how it goes in the next couple of days,” said Hughes.
As it currently stands, he is also prohibited from riding on Friday as he will have reached his quota of nine meetings within a week, as set by the British Horseracing Authority.
Both men were out of luck in the opener, the first division of the Bet Premier League Football – Betdaq Maiden Stakes, won by Chris Wall’s 4-6 favourite Manoori. In the second division Hanagan struck on board Ann Duffield’s Insolenceofoffice, also a 4-6 favourite. Hughes attempted to force him wide on Lady Mango but his mount faded into third.
“He is straightforward and deserved that success,” said Hanagan. “Richard rode a good race on Lady Mango by keeping me out wide but this a great little horse.”
Malton-based Hanagan struck an unexpected blow in the Enjoy The Party Pack Group Offer Handicap, though, when Blue Moon got the better of odds-on favourite Inpursuitoffreedom, ridden by Hughes. The jolly was all dressed up with nowhere to go turning into the straight while Hanagan took the outside route on Kevin Ryan’s 5-2 chance.
When Inpursuitoffreedom finally got in the clear, Hanagan had gained a big enough lead that was not for catching, and held on by half a length.
“She’s very game and only lost out by a nose last time,” said Hanagan. “She’s only got one eye so I didn’t want to come in between them, it was easier to go round them. I owed Richard one in a tight finish. He’s done me a few times in the last week so I’m pleased.”
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