Perfect Power Scores Breeders’ Cup Berth In Norfolk

Jockey Paul Hanagan timed a late charge to perfection when winning the G2 Norfolk Stakes on Perfect Power, the opening contest on day three of Royal Ascot. The win earned Perfect Power an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint this fall at Del Mar.

Protagonists in this five-furlong dash for 2-year-olds were spread across the width of the track, but it was the Richard Fahey-trained Perfect Power (14/1) who burst from the pack down the stands’ side to prevail.

Go Bears Go (6/1) was beaten a head racing on the far side, with Project Dante (6/1) a nose behind in third on the stands’ side rail.

Victory gave Hanagan a fifth Royal Ascot success, and first since 2015, while Fahey was scoring for the eighth time at the meeting.

Hanagan, who returned from a broken back in August, said: “I don’t usually get emotional, but I’m probably lucky to be here at all after the accident. It’s an amazing feeling just to even get back here, never mind a winner at Royal Ascot. I am pretty lost for words.

“I actually fractured my back in three places in a fall at Newcastle, and it was just touch and go whether I was going to be back. I owe so much to a lot of people – the Injured Jockeys Fund, Jack Berry House in Malton, my family and friends, and obviously Richard Fahey, who has been amazing, Richard Hale and just everyone at the yard.

“The period after my accident was a very character building few months. The accident was a pretty bad one and I’m lucky to be here at all, let alone riding winners, and I’m so grateful. I just appreciated I had a second chance, and I took it with both hands. This is what it’s all about – what the comeback means. This tops the lot. It’s so nice to see the crowd back, and what a buzz that was, when I eventually found out I’d won – the cheer of the crowd was something special.”

He added: “The race itself – they went quite hard and I just had to sit and suffer on him. I’m glad I did, because he didn’t half power home and really ran through the line. I must have passed about 10 jockeys pulling up who [thought they] had won, and I wasn’t quite sure because it was so far away the other side. I think the way I finished the race I had every chance, because he really powered home.

“You couldn’t really get a horse with a better attitude. He takes it all in and has a great temperament. I think that’s what got him beat first time, because we were all expecting him to win. First day at school – I think he just had a bit of stage fright, but he’s come out of that race so well, and as we saw at Hamilton, that race brought him on again.”

Fahey said: “The Norfolk Stakes has been a bogey race for me. I have been second in it a few times and as they flashed past I thought we got beat. I’m just glad we got there. I got emotional for a couple of seconds, I’m getting soft in my old age.

“It’s a fantastic result. Me and Paul have been together for such a long time. He left us for around 18 months, but it’s been such a long relationship and it’s great to have another Royal Ascot winner together.

“We were very sweet on Perfect Power. We haven’t had him very long and he missed the kick first time out when third and that probably helped us. He won well at Hamilton and we were quietly confident coming here.

“We discussed going up to six furlongs but after chatting it through with the team, we came here. He was bought to win a Norfolk and it’s great when a plan comes together.”

The post Perfect Power Scores Breeders’ Cup Berth In Norfolk appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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