Paul Hanagan enjoyed his biggest success since his return from injury with a hard-fought triumph on Exceptional in the Arran Scottish Sprint EBF Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr.
The two-time champion jockey was sidelined for six months after fracturing his T6 vertebra in a fall at Newcastle in February.
It was fitting Hanagan picked up this Listed prize as it provided him with a 100th career win at the Scottish track.
There were plenty in with chances inside the final quarter-mile but Exceptional (11-2) knuckled down to her task to score by a length and a length and a quarter from the Kevin Ryan-trained pair of Last Empire and Dandy’s Beano.
Hanagan told Racing TV: “I’ve been trying to get it for a while. Obviously I was off injured for a good time. It’s just nice to get 100 winners at Ayr – it’s been good to me over the years.
“The easier ground helped this filly as she was on her head most of the way and I just had to sit and suffer. I think she’ll probably get further.
“She’s a very good filly. She was going away at the end and has a very good attitude.”
Fahey was pleased to see Exceptional gain some valuable black type for her future career as a broodmare for owners Cheveley Park Stud.
“She’s a sweet filly, she’s not had a lot of racing. It’s just nice to see her win a Listed race for Cheveley,” said the North Yorkshire handler.
“There is one more race but we’ll speak to Chris (Richardson) and see.
“It was a good winner to get. They are definitely keeping her for stud so I’m delighted to get that bracket done and she did it well.”
Fahey was completing a double after the victory of Outrun The Storm (18-1) in the EBF Nursery Handicap under Paddy Mathers.
Winter Power showed a terrific turn of foot to take the Listed honours in the Shadwell Stud/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes.
The Tim Easterby-trained filly put up a career-best effort on her eighth start to win for a third time as she bounced back from being well-beaten in the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster a week ago.
David Allan had Winter Power (7-1) well-placed as Rebel At Dawn took the field along before asking her to go and in the race over a furlong out.
She quickly put the race to bed and enjoyed a cosy half-a-length success over Nomadic Empire (5-1). First Company, the 250-1 complete outsider of the party, three-quarters of a length back in third.
“She’s a very good filly. She’s plenty of speed and loved the ground, which we weren’t sure about. She enjoyed it and travelled well through the race,” said Easterby.
“It was a hot race she ran in at Doncaster last week, but she’s got a fantastic attitude. You can back her up and run her quick. It’s not very often you can do that with a filly.
“She’s very fast. She’s in the race at Redcar (Two Year Old Trophy), but we maybe wouldn’t go there and stick to five.”
Jockey Joe Fanning was in fine form, landing an 865-1 treble on Fairmac (10-1), Mondain (11-4 favourite) and Bringitonboris (20-1).