Steel of Madrid wins the Fairway Stakes
With a multitude of runners on Saturday, from Haydock to Newmarket and Goodwood to Chepstow, Richard Hannon’s runners were all heading to the races with nice chances. The day however was better than anyone could have expected with five winners ensuing, including the Fairway Stakes Listed contest at Newmarket and the one hundred thousand pound handicap at Goodwood.
The day started with NIBRAS BOUNTY the son of Bahamian Bounty, building on his debut performance to win impressively at Newmarket in the opening event on the cards. ‘Going to Salisbury I thought he was a really nice horse, however he got no luck in running and ended up finishing a nice fourth. He improved a lot for that run and got the job done in good style. He can now head straight to Royal Ascot, where he would be best suited running in the Coventry.’ The main event on the card at Newmarket was the Fairway Stakes where STEEL OF MADRID went off the 3/1 second favourite behind Linguistic who was odds on. ‘He ran really well at Haydock on his previous start albeit getting very little luck in running. He improved fitness wise and for the step up in trip in this listed event and was tough late on to hold off John Gosdens charge. He has been working well at home all year and looks a horse who will improve again, and the bonus is he will be suited by further again. The race for him will be the Tercentenary at Royal Ascot and then we will see after that.’ Both winners at Newmarket were ridden by Tom Queally who is not often seen on Richards horses, however when he does, he has ridden at a 33% strike rate.
Goodwood saw Richard have plenty of good chances all day. OH THIS IS US went off favourite for the big handicap on the card and looks like a really progressive three year old in the making. ‘He has improved on every start, from winning nicely at Chelmsford, to bolting up at Newmarket and then following up here in what was a very competitive handicap on paper. He never showed much as a two year old and I can’t believe how we ended up with very little to show from his two year old career. He has been put up six pounds and will now head to the Brittania at Royal Ascot where I hope he will get a run. There is still plenty of improvement to come, but I was very happy to win here for a delightful team of owners in such a big race.’ The two 2 yrs on the day went off in the five furlong fillies novice stakes. ‘PEPITA and LIMELITE showed themselves up really well in what was a strong looking race on paper. The winner had the experience and I can see both my fillies being very hard to beat on their next starts.’ OUT OF THE DARK went off a 16/1 shot for the fillies maiden, however she looked a picture in the paddock and duly delivered on debut. ‘She is a filly we do very little with at home as she keeps herself nice and fit. I was expecting her to run a nice race but it was a real bonus for her to win. She will improve on that run and we are not sure how good she could be.’ With Tom Marquand steering home both winners at Goodwood, he is putting himself again at the fore of the champion apprentice market. ‘He is riding really well and has plenty of confidence. He puts them in the right spot, giving them every chance.’
The evening meeting was at Chepstow and TOMILY went off the short priced favourite off the back of his Brighton victory. ‘He won well and looks a perfect horse to head straight to Royal Ascot in the Windsor Forest. He is all speed and seems capable of improving again. It will be a big runner field and the more experience you can get the better. He has run well in some nice maidens and will keep going on from this impressive victory.’
BLACK CHERRY and CHIEF WHIP were two others that ran nice races. The former ran a good third in what was a competitive listed event at Goodwood and looks like she isn’t far away from bagging some more black type this year. CHIEF WHIP was unlucky as he got a little unbalanced in the final furlong but looks a horse who will be very competitive in a Brittania.