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Rob Burrow: Former Leeds Rhinos star celebrates first winner for his Racing Club with Macarone at Beverley

Rob Burrow Racing Club was set up to raise money for charities, including the Motor Neurone Disease Association; Macarone was ridden to victory by Paul Hanagan at Beverley on Thursday; Burrow: "It's been worth the wait"

Rob Burrow
Image: Rob Burrow celebrated a first winner for his Racing Club at Beverley on Thursday

The Rob Burrow Racing Club celebrated its first winner on Thursday when the Craig Lidster-trained Macarone came home clear at Beverley.

The club was set up to raise money for several charities, but principally the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), the illness which former Rugby League star Burrow was diagnosed with in 2019.

Macarone, a two-year-old by Havana Grey, was having his first run for the club after finishing second at Bath last time out and the well-backed 7-2 winner was roared home.

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Former champion jockey Paul Hanagan, a keen Rugby League fan, punched the air on crossing the line and admitted the result meant a lot to him.

Hanagan said: "I've been blessed to ride a lot of winners in my career and I can safely say today is bang up there with the best of them. It was definitely emotional with Rob and his family being here too. It really doesn't get much better.

"The reception we got coming back in was something I'll never forget, and I can't tell you how chuffed I am. You always know it's something special when the other jockeys start applauding you when you come back in the weighing room.

"It was a very special day and hopefully this will be onwards and upwards for the Rob Burrow Racing Club."

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Rob Burrow watches on from the parade ring at Catterick
Image: Burrow watches on as one of his horses parades at Catterick

Burrow said: "Well done Macarone! You've given the Rob Burrow Racing Club our first win, and I couldn't be prouder!

"Racing can be tough at times, and just like rugby, it has its ups and downs. Macarone has given us a perfect result today though. It's been worth the wait."

Burrow's wife, Lindsey, added: "I was screaming so loudly I might have lost my voice!"

Burrow Seven's jockey Oakley Brown poses with Burrow before the race at Catterick
Image: Jockey Oakley Brown poses with the former Leeds Rhinos star in the Rob Burrow Racing Club colours

Barrie McDermott, a former colleague of Burrow's at the Leeds Rhinos, and an ambassador of the club, told Racing TV: "We've had a few scripts that haven't gone to plan, but today did.

"Paul is such an experienced rider, he talked us through his plan and he executed it to perfection.

"We're delighted, delighted for Rob and Lindsey (Burrow) and all the members.

"The club is evolving all the time, we're trying to turn it into a 12-month membership while raising money for charity. MND is an awful disease and Rob's desire is to make people understand how it affects everybody and what they can do to help.

"He's such an inspirational man. He's not been burdened by the inevitability of what is in front of him, he's been campaigning so those that follow him can have a bit of an easier path and for that we all love him."

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