British champion jockey Paul Hanagan has been named Richard Hills’ successor as retained rider for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.
Hanagan will begin his new job after Hills retires on Dubai World Cup night on March 31. The rider still hopes to continue his successful association with the Richard Fahey stable whenever possible.
Hanagan told sportinglife.com “It’s obviously very exciting but I have to stress I wouldn’t have achieved anything like the success I have without the help of Richard (Fahey) and his team over the last 17 years.
“It was very emotional when I told him of the approach last night but I will ride for the yard whenever my new commitments allow.
“However having watched the great Hamdan horses over the years, since being at school, this was too good an opportunity to turn down.”
Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, added: “Following the recent announcement of Richard Hills’ retirement after the Dubai World Cup, I am pleased to announce that Paul Hanagan has agreed to ride as first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan for the 2012 season.
“Having been such an integral part of the very successful Richard Fahey team for so long I know that Paul will be a tremendous asset to our team.”
Gold confirmed that Hanagan will be allowed ride Fahey’s horses when he is not required by his new employer.
He added: “I would like to express our thanks to Richard Fahey, and feel sure that both he and Paul will be keen to maintain their relationship when Paul’s commitments to Sheikh Hamdan allow, and we very much look forward to working with Paul in the coming years.
“At the same time I would like to pay tribute to Richard Hills and thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to the success of the Shadwell horses over the last 20 years or so, and hope we can continue to count on his experience in the future.”