Zenella extends Hanagan lead
Paul Hanagan's relentless march to the jockeys' championship was further bolstered with a Listed prize at Pontefract yesterday.
The North Yorkshire-based pilot pulled 11 wins clear of nearest rival Richard Hughes when Zenella scooped the totepool Silver Tankard Stakes over a mile.
"Paul gave her an absolutely tremendous ride and that's why he is going to be champion jockey," declared successful trainer Ann Duffield.
One of Hanagan's biggest assets is his strength in a finish, but his work on Zenella (10/1) revolved chiefly around awareness and timing.
While Hanagan's cause may have been aided by a protracted barging match between Royal Exchange and Star Surprise, his partner was still good value for her length-and-three-quarters verdict.
A chilly autumnal afternoon in Yorkshire was also significant for Cork native Martin Lane, who shed his claim when Captain Royale won the first division of the sprint handicap.
Lane, who is attached to Newmarket trainer David Simcock, showed trademark determination to get Tracy Waggott's chestnut home by a length.
"It's been a long time coming, so it's a great relief," said Lane, from Kilworth just outside Fermoy.
"It's been a good year and David has done very well for me. That's 38 winners for the season and the John Smith's Cup winner (aboard Wigmore Hall) made the year."