Sunday 17 December 2017

Hanagan makes most of Hughes' absence

Tom Peacock

A wedding commitment caused Richard Hughes to miss the opportunity of bolstering his title challenge with two Richard Hannon-trained winners at Leicester yesterday.

Hughes' agent Tony Hind confirmed the Kildare native's absence was due to a ceremony in Ireland, while his rival Paul Hanagan increased his lead to 17 with one victory at Hamilton.

Jimmy Fortune stood in for Hannon's stable jockey on both occasions, initiating the double with a two-length success on 4/9 favourite Vanguard Dream in the opening juvenile contest.

A debut scorer at Goodwood just a week ago, connections had been slightly unsure that day whether the Oasis Dream juvenile had much scope for improvement but this unflustered performance could not be crabbed.

The next came aboard the blinkered Essexbridge (4/1), a now rather disappointing customer dropped to the lowest possible level in the claimer.

Martin Dwyer had to be taken to hospital after being thrown from Red Lite, which swerved to the left close home when looking poised to take division two of the fillies nursery.

The race was then handed to George Margarson's Speedfit Girl (7/2), while there was a long delay to the final heats as another ambulance was summoned.

Dwyer's father-in-law, trainer William Muir, said: "He didn't lose consciousness, which is a good thing and means he didn't bang his head.It looked more like he had damaged his collar bone, he knew everything and knew who the doctor was."

Former champion Irish apprentice Cathy Gannon landed a double, which was initiated by Country Waltz in the first division of the nursery. The pint-sized Dubliner completed her brace with an inspirational ride on Tevez in the one-mile handicap.

Irish Independent

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