Sarrsar gives Hanagan early Cup strike

Paul Hanagan drew first blood for the Great Britain team in the Shergar Cup at Ascot by partnering Sarrsar to an emphatic success.

Paul Hanagan drew first blood for the Great Britain team in the Shergar Cup at Ascot by partnering Sarrsar to an emphatic success.

The champion jockey was the captain of his country’s side on his debut in the competition and he had the right horse for his debut.

Godolphin’s Sarrsar (6-1) got the perfect break on the rail in the Les Ambassadeurs Casino Shergar Cup Mile to skip three and a half lengths clear of Circumvent with Dubai Dynamo third.

Great Britain consequently took an early lead on 15 points ahead of the Rest of the World on 13.

“It’s a privilege to represent your country and I’m absolutely delighted to get a winner so quickly,” said Hanagan. “He seemed to really appreciate going through the gap and he quickened very well.”

Yutaka Take equalled affairs for the Rest of the World and took his team into the lead in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers Handicap.

The Japanese wizard left his mark on the meeting a few years ago with a brilliant ride on Leg Spinner and he was again patient on the Ian Williams-trained Ile De Re (9-2), sweeping in front with a furlong to run and holding on by a length from Hanagan and Woolfall Treasure.

The grey is new to Williams’ care from Freddie Head in France and his representative Kevin Frost said: “Yutaka gave him a brilliant ride and depending on whether he gets in, the Ebor would be an obvious race. He just doesn’t want fast ground.”

Sponsors Betfred cut him to 16-1 from 25s for the York handicap while Rest Of The World pushed past Great Britain to lead 35 to 33.

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