The Monday after Royal Ascot, when things start to settle down and new plans are being hatched for the next festivals at both Newmarket and Goodwood. The ground looked to go against a lot of horses last week and if we ran the same meeting on firmer going the results, we believe, would be a lot different.
Highlights of the week from Richard Hannon’s stable came from MEHMAS, TOORMORE, BLACK CHERRY, CHIEF WHIP, ILLUMINATE, MR SCARAMANGA and BURNT SUGAR. Albeit without a winner these horses all ran commendably and should improve as the season goes on. Mehmas ran a gallant second behind a very impressive horse from the Coolmore team. ‘He wouldn’t be one to love that ground, however he ran an absolute cracker to finish second. There are some nice options for him going forward, including the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, where Al Shaqab sponsor the meeting.’
Toormore ridden differently for the first time this season, appreciated the strong pace up front. He settled towards the rear and finished off nicely behind the impressive American mare Tepin. ‘He keeps performing well at Group 1 level and I hope he can bag another one, one day. He is a lovely horse to have in the yard and has given us some fun throughout the years.’
Black Cherry ran very creditably in a hot renewal of the Windsor Forest. The winner Usherette is a very useful mare and could easily run well against the male mile division. Black Cherry ran the race of her life to only be beaten four and three quarter lengths. Chief Whip is a horse who keeps improving and was the winner on the near side in the Brittania Handicap. Mr Scaramanga was brilliant in the Chesham running home late to split the Frankel progeny. He appreciated the step up to a stiff seven and will be a horse to watch on better ground. Burnt Sugar flew home in the Wokingham, having his second run this year. He will be a horse to have plenty of fun.
Illuminate is the last one to talk about. ‘She looks right back to her best and hated the ground at Ascot. She didn’t get the mile in the Guineas and looks much happier over six furlongs. There are plenty of options for her later on this year and I feel back on better ground, she will be very competitive.’
Congratulations to all those connections with winners during the week, and as it proved it’s very hard to win on the worlds hottest stage. With plenty more races to look forward to it’s onwards and upwards for Richard Hannon.