Paul Hanagan wins second Flat title in a row

Paul Hanagan
Hanagan claimed the title for a second consecutive year

Paul Hanagan has successfully defended the Flat jockeys' championship after nearest rival Silvestre de Sousa failed to win all his races at Doncaster.

De Sousa had closed to within four wins ahead of the final day, with four rides to Hanagan's seven at the meeting.

But, when he failed to win on his first mount - True Bond - in the 1325 GMT Betfred Mobile Nursery, Yorkshireman Hanagan's title was confirmed.

Hanagan said: "It's a relief. It feels like a big weight has been lifted."

The Malton-based rider won the title last year when he saw off Richard Hughes after a close-fought battle.

Hanagan faced a similar challenge this season, with Kieren Fallon and De Sousa also in the hunt for the title.

De Sousa had kept the battle alive with a four-timer at Wolverhampton on Friday, but Hanagan was delighted to prevail.

Hanagan added: "It's gone right down to the wire again.

"Last night was incredible but I've stuck at it and kept going.

"This season seemed to come around so quickly. It didn't feel like two minutes since the last season ended and the new one began, but in a good way the balls just kept on rolling.

"It's still been tough but last year I spent a lot of time watching Richard Hughes on TV whereas this year I was mainly riding in the same races as Silvestre.

"He's been riding out of his skin and deserves a lot of respect. We've just had a quiet moment when he came up and shook my hand.

"I'm just going to enjoy this."

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