Twice UK Champion is thankful for his ‘second chance’

Perfect Power prevailed in a blanket finish to the Norfolk Stakes as jockey Paul Hanagan recorded an emotional success at Royal Ascot last week over a year after breaking his back in three places in a horror fall.

Hanagan, who only returned to the saddle in August last year after suffering a serious injury at Newcastle in February, said: “I think this tops the lot. The accident I had last year was a pretty bad one and I just thought I’m lucky to be here at all, never mind riding winners.

“I think early on when I was laid in hospital, I thought I was in trouble. It was only through the rehab and genuine kindness of people that I’ve got back. You just appreciate it when you get a second chance.

“This would be my main (achievement) now because I didn’t think I would get back at all. It was a bad one – I fractured my T4, T3 and T6 (vertebrae), and the T6 was crushed all together. So after operations and physio of countless days, being in a few bad places a few times, to make it back and ride a winner here – it would top the whole lot.

“I’m good friends with Freddy Tylicki and I realise what he’s been through. He’s kind of been my inspiration as well as he wasn’t as lucky as me. I found great inspiration from him, I’ve got a second chance and it didn’t happen for Freddy. I just appreciate the chance that I have got.”

EAMONN CULLEN caught up with Paul for a quick IRC Q&A, and points out that the interview was done a few weeks before Royal Ascot. Thanks to both!

1 Full Name? Paul Hanagan
2 Date Of Birth? 8/9/80
3 Steak or Sushi? Steak
4 Superstitions? None
5 Favourite Holiday Destination? Mauritius
6 Which, Guinness or Lager? Neither
7 Who inspires you most? Father
8 Night out or quiet night in? Quiet Night In
9 Right-handed or Left-handed? Right
10 Rolex or Breitling? Rolex
11 What annoys you most? Traffic
12 Party trick? I can be like Houdini…. leaving the Party early without anyone knowing!
13 Funniest person ever met? Adrian Trotter Nicholls
14 The Derby or Kentucky Derby? Derby
15 Strict whip rules or no whip at all? Strict Whip Rules
16 What is your biggest phobia? Claustrophobic after Back Accident… too many scans
17 Most embarrassing moment? As an apprentice was riding a horse that got loose and it ran into a red Peugeot 106 in the car Park… Owner P Hanagan
18 Colts or fillies? Colts
19 Golf handicap? Don’t Play
20 Proudest Achievement?
Champion Jockey of the UK in 2010 and to defend the Title in 2011
22 Economy or Business? Business
23 Star sign? Virgo
24 Single or Taken? Married
25 Bath or Shower? Shower
26 Read or Netflix? Netflix
26 (A) Last series watched on Netflix? Narcos
26 (B) Joker in the Weigh room? Martin Dwyer/Franny Norton
27 Would you rather ask for permission or ask for forgiveness? Permission
28 Nominate someone for our Q&A next? Joe Fanning

Horses to watch this season:
Fev Rover
Perfect Power

Favourite Charity
Injured Jockeys Fund

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