With the first week of May producing what is starting to feel more like spring, Richard Hannon had a team of horses spread all over the country with the feature meeting at Lingfield for the Derby and Oaks trials.
HUMPHREY BOGART was produced late to win the Lingfield Derby Trial under a strong drive from Sean Levey, holding off the well backed Carntop, owned by the Prince Of Wales. ‘I always had questions on his ability to stay, originally thinking that the mile and a quarter was one step too far but for him to win here at a mile and half proves his tenacity. He was a winner over seven furlongs as a two year old and has never been out of the first four in all eight starts. He is tough as anything and I think if the decision is confirmed to go to the derby, he deserves his chance.’
The mixed card at Haydock produced a Hannon one two in the shape of SHAIYEM and STEEL OF MADRID. ‘Shaiyem ran very well last week at Lingfield and confirmed that promise by going one better under the Champion Apprentice Tom Marquand. He is highly progressive and can continue to go through the grades. I thought Steel Of Madrid was unlucky. He was settled towards the rear and failed to get the gaps at the right time. He was strong late and looks a horse who will appreciate further in time. He ran a bit free in the Craven but looks to have improved plenty on this reappearance. He will be contesting some nice races this year.’
PREROGATIVE ran at Ascot in the novice stakes for the Royal Ascot Racing Club and looked to travel really well throughout. ‘Sean got him into a lovely rhythm and he looked like getting right into it, just getting tired towards the line. I think he will improve plenty for the run and should be hard to beat on his next start.’
MARSH HAWK ran a cracking race at Nottingham in the Fillies Listed race over six furlongs. ‘She found it all happening a bit quick at Bath over five, so she really appreciated the step up in trip. The blinkers have really helped her and I can see her winning a similar race this year.’
Sunday is quiet for Richard Hannon on the home front, but the son of Zoffany, VENTURA STORM is taking his chance in the Derrinstown Derby Trial. ‘He was very tough winning the Fielden Stakes last time and I can see him running a similar race again. It is a tougher race today but I would be happy if he ran in the top three. He is so genuine I expect him to be doing his best work late.’