March1, Dubai~ A two-time British champion jockey has landed the coveted role of retained rider to Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Paul Hanagan will don the famous blue and white silks that have been carried to victory in almost every major race in the world when Richard Hills hangs up his silks on Dubai World Cup night on March 31.
Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, said in a statement: “Following the recent announcement of Richard Hills’ retirement after the Dubai World Cup, I am pleased to announce that Paul Hanagan has agreed to ride as first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan for the 2012 season.”
Hills became the second jockey to the Sheikh in 1995, and was promoted to first jockey in 1997 following the retirement of Willie Carson.
The Godolphin stable has signed top Brazilian jockey, Silvestre De Sousa, as a full-time rider for the Dubai stable.
De Sousa, who was runner-up to Paul Hanagan in the UK’s Jockey Championship last season, will be riding alongside Frankie Dettori in the stable’s famous royal blue silks.
Godolphin announced that a formal arrangement is in place which will see De Sousa ride for trainers Saeed Bin Surour and Mahmood Al Zarooni on a more permanent basis.