Hanagan and Hamdan part company

Paul Hanagan said it was "privilege" to ride for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum following the jockey's split with the powerful owner.

Hanagan in the famous blue and white silks

Hanagan was announced as Sheikh Hamdan's first-choice rider in February 2012 after the retirement of Richard Hills but the alliance came to an end with two rides at Wolverhampton on Friday afternoon.

The two-time champion jockey said in a statement: "I would like to thank Sheikh Hamdan for giving me the opportunity to ride some very special horses, both in Europe and Dubai over the past five years.

"Sheikh Hamdan is a true gentleman. It has been a privilege to ride for him, and I would like to wish him and the team at Shadwell every successful in the future.

"I am disappointed that our partnership has come to an end, but I have to put these things into perspective particularly at this time when my close friend Freddy Tylicki has suffered life-changing injuries. I am sure that I speak for everyone when I say that we are all praying for him.

"Thankfully, I am still fit and healthy and am enjoying my riding as much as ever.

"It is too early to say what my plans are for the future, but I will continue to work as hard as ever and am looking forward to meeting the new challenges that lie ahead."

Hanagan, 36, was crowned champion jockey in 2010 and 2011 before he was appointed by Sheikh Hamdan, for whom he rode Taghrooda to victory in both the Investec Oaks at Epsom and the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot two years ago.

Mukhadram, Muhaarar and Muarrab also provided Hanagan further Group One victories in the famous blue and white silks.

But Hanagan has not been anywhere near as prolific as in recent seasons, with heightened speculation earlier in the year suggesting the jockey was set to be replaced as Sheikh Hamdan's number one.

Hanagan added: "I have some great memories particularly of our seven Group One wins, two of them on Taghrooda, who gave me my first Classic success in the 2014 Oaks.

"Also I would like to give a big thank you to all Sheikh Hamdan's trainers and their staff for the hard work they have put in and I am very lucky to have met some wonderful people."

Hanagan was unable to end his association with Sheikh Hamdan with a winner.

He was fourth on the Owen Burrows-trained Quloob in a two-year-old maiden over an extended mile after earlier having been unplaced on the Charlie Hills-trained newcomer Althib in a seven-furlong maiden.

Upon hearing the news, bookmakers Sky Bet have installed him at 33/1 to be champion again next season.

Read More at Sporting Life

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