Paul Hanagan  Born on the 8th September 1980 and hailing from Cheshire, Paul Hanagan is a ex champion jockey of great acclaim in the flat racing world.

 

Having never been in the saddle until the late age of 14 and having had his eyes firmly fixed on a career on the green grass of a football field rather than a racetrack, Paul Hanagan was a graduate of the British Racing School after great encouragement from his father, Geoff Hanagan. Deemed ‘too small’ for professional football, he helped out as a weekend work experience stable hand for trainer Terry Caldwell, based in Warrington, which ultimately led to the pivotal moment when Hanagan realised that racing had gotten under his skin and into his blood.

Captivated by what he saw at Caldwell’s yard, Hanagan would get his first taste of being a jockey, being allowed to ride out at the age of 14 and begin training the British Racing School, graduating in 1997.

 

Breakthrough

 

Hanagan got his first taste of senior racing on Stone Beck 4 days shy of his 18th birthday , racing to a creditable 4th place under the stewardship of Malcolm Jefferson, who was better known for his work in National Hunt training. Jefferson knew his onions and he saw a promising flat jockey in Hanagan, guiding the young man to join Richard Fahey as an apprentice flat jockey just a year later.

Over the next four years, the apprentice jockey saw his promise turn into results, improving each season and gaining the title of Champion Apprentice in 2002. He did this by riding a highly impressive 87 winners, the 2nd most since the end of WWII, which included a win on Vintage Premium in the John Smith’s Cup.

 

Richard Fahey foretold a big future for Paul Hanagan and he wasn’t wrong. Having matured over the next few years, he won his first senior Champion Jockey title in 2010 with a brilliant 191 winners and then backing that up by winning it again in 2011, beating Silvestre De Sousa from Brazil on the very last day of the season.

After this great achievement, Hanagan took a brief sabbatical and stated that he need a break after all his efforts. He did return the next year, but he never again hit the heights of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. To this day, he attributes much of his success to Richard Fahey who he spent 14 years with and he will forever be included in the pantheon of great flat jockeys.

 

Warwick Racecourse  Warwick racecourse is located in Hampton Street, Warwick. It is one of England’s most ancient racecourses having been founded in 1808. The racecourse is famous for its National Hunt races, and is owned by Jockey Club Racecourses. Recently, the racecourse experienced major changes as its ancient stalls were demolished to allow the erection of new facilities. A modern nine-hole golf course together with a golf driving range was built to diversify its activities. Next to the racecourse is a parking lot that is just five minutes away from town, making it
easily accessible.

 

The course used to host both flat racing and National Hunt until the year 2014, when it was forced to drop flat racing after an incident whereby a horse fell at the track. This came in as a disappointment to most people, since a number of flat racing fixtures that had been scheduled to take place in Warwick racecourse were transferred to other racecourses. Its final flat racing was held in 26th August, the same year.

 

Warwick racecourse has been hosting a total of 25 meetings each year, Leamington Novices’ Hurdle being famous of them all. The race is a Grade 2 National Hunt, and horses five years and above take part in it. It is scheduled for January of every year, has been taking place since 2002. Another race taking place in Warwick racecourse is the classic chase. It is a Grade 3 National Hunt race, and just like the Leamington Novice’s’ it is opened to horses aged 5 years and above. The race is scheduled for January of every year, and is only for the handicapped. It is run over a distance of 5,883 meters with a total of twenty four fences for the horses to jump over. This event was officially introduced in the year 2004, and has since then been happening every year.

Taunton Racecourse  Taunton racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing track located at the heart of the rural Orchard Portman. It is only a few miles from Taunton, England. The track opened up in 1927. It is owned by Taunton Racecourse ltd. Having been opened in the early 90s, the track is the youngest of them all in England. It is well known for hosting National Hunt races right from January all through to May, after which it takes a break till October when the races resume. Right handed and oval in shape,Taunton consists of multiple tight bends. It is approximately a mile and 2 furlongs long, which is a common average.

The racetrack has been holding races since 18th century. Its first venue was located in Broomhay, West Monkton, and later relocated to a new site, which is now the King’s College. They however faced a major setback in 1838 when heavy rains destroyed its stables and buildings. This necessitated its transfer to Trull Moor about two years later. The racecourse remained functional for 15 years after which it closed down due to the outbreak of the World War 1. It was then revived in 1927, after the formation of Taunton Racecourse Company. That is when the racecourse was relocated to its current location, Orchard Portman. Shoreditch Selling Hurdle was its first meeting, having have taken place on the 21st of September, 1927. Since then, the racetrack has been hosting a significant number of fixtures every year.

The most anticipated activies start in the beginning of the year, with the famus Hndicap Hurdle being the peak of the events calendar. This event has recorded a good turnout number, with people flocking the Taunton racecourse
to watch the races. Another major event would be Audrey Chudleigh Memorial Handicap Hurdle, taking place every November. The racecourse has good hospitality facilities, guaranteeing a comfortable stay to anyone who visits.