Classic-winning jockey Paul Hanagan has announced he will retire from the saddle after riding at York on Friday.
The 42-year-old enjoyed Epsom glory when steering Taghrooda to victory in the 2014 Oaks, before the duo went on to land the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes and finish third to Treve in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Hanagan was the leading apprentice in 2002 and was crowned champion jockey twice – first winning the title in 2010 when he rode 205 winners in a calendar year and successfully defending his crown in 2011, when he partnered 177 winners over the 12 months.
Recent seasons have proved more difficult, suffering a serious fall in February 2020 that resulted in three fractured vertebrae and a prolonged period on the sidelines, eventually returning to action in August that year and steering Majestic Dawn to a popular victory in the Cambridgeshire the following month.
Hanagan has ridden 14 winners so far this year and feels it is the right time to depart the weighing room, with his final ride due to come aboard the Richard Fahey-trained Wootton’Sun.
He said: “As you can imagine it’s quite emotional. It’s difficult, I think any professional sportsperson will tell you, especially doing it as long as I’ve been doing it for.
“There’s a few things involved in making my decision, I had a pretty bad fall about two years ago and I’ve never quite been the same after it, I fractured my back in three places.
“It’s not so much painful riding, but it’s getting to the level of fitness you need to be at to be a professional jockey and I don’t think I was getting to that standard.”