Injured Paul Hanagan eyes 2,000th winner on return

Tuesday 19 May 2020 17:10, UK

DONCASTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 01: Paul Hanagan poses at Doncaster Racecourse on April 1, 2017 in Doncaster, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Image: Paul Hanagan

Paul Hanagan has set his sights on notching up his 2,000th career winner when he returns from a spell on the sidelines.

The two-times champion jockey suffered fractured vertebrae in a fall at Newcastle in February, but he is eager to return with a career landmark in sight.

He told Sky Sports Racing: "This could be a special season because I think I've got 24 winners to go before I get to my 2,000th winner, so I'm quite looking forward to that achievement.

"I still think I'm riding better than ever. I got my eighth Lester last year for ride of the year, so my confidence is still up and I'm really enjoying it.

"I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running and getting to 2,000 winners."

While Hanagan is keen to secure that notable winner, he is not rushing back into action and is expected to undergo surgery before his return.

He added: "I'm getting there slowly, but at the minute everywhere is shut for rehab. Luckily I'm just down the road from Jack Berry House, so I'm looking forward to when they reopen.

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"I think everyone hears surgery and thinks the worst, but it's actually going to progress it and speed things up a bit. I'm with one of the best specialists in the country, so I'm in safe hands hopefully.

"I've been riding 22 years now and this is the worst accident I have had, so I've not done too bad.

"I think once I can get the surgery done, I can really get started with the rehab which is the most important thing. I'll know when I'm ready (to return)."