A strong weekend had by Richard Hannon with six winners from his twenty runners from Friday through to Sunday. The Newbury meeting on Friday was bookended by the team in nice fashion. The first of those winners came in the shape of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s ALMOREB who won the maiden in nice style. He was seventh in a maiden at Newmarket last year behind the Derby favourite Cracksman and came here to win decisively. ‘He has improved physically over the winter and has been working well. These Maidens at Newbury are very competitive so I was happy with how he did it. He should improve again for that and could be a nice horse for the year.’ The final winner of the day came from FAST AND HOT under Rossa Ryan. He was to the fore the entire way and was very strong up to the line. He was held onto coming down to the final furlong and a half and quickened well. ‘He really appreciates the give in the ground. He couldn’t let himself down at Leicester last time. He has been a fun horse for the Clee’s and should continue to win as long as the ground stays soft. He is in on Monday at Windsor and that could be a potential option without a penalty and with the ground remaining soft.’
Saturday started well with LARCHMONT LAD showing that he is back to his best. He settled towards the rear in the Listed contest over seven furlongs and came through with a late run to only be denied a head. ‘He has been running in the Guineas trials and the Guineas so I was happy that he is back to his best here. He could be a horse to have some fun with this year and he should have no problem stepping up in trip.’ The first winner of the day came at Newmarket in the shape of TAJAANUS, again for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. The daughter of Arcano was having her first start and although he missed the break considerably, she stayed on well late to win nicely up to the line. ‘I was very impressed with this performance and she could be an Ascot filly for us. She got left early and Jim got her nice and balanced and worked into the race and she went on to win well. She didn’t like the ground too much and I would expect plenty of improvement next time on better ground.’ DENAAR at Newbury was the winner of the Olympic Glory Conditions stakes. He was always to the fore and was tough late on to hold off all challengers. ‘He is a lovely colt and reminds me very much of Mehmas from last year. He was very gutsy there today and is now a horse we will head straight to Ascot with. He should make a nice Coventry horse.’
Just two runners at Ripon yesterday and they both won convincingly. The first of pair was DE BRUYNE HORSE, a son of Showcasing who won on his second start for Middleham Park Racing. ‘That was a very impressive result and the time looked very good. He was very green on debut at Newmarket and he has showed the necessary improvement here to win in great style. He has plenty of options now and I hope he could turn into one of our nicer two year olds.’ The other winner on the day came from the improving RITA’S MAN. He was stepping up in trip and was settled towards the rear of the field before coming with a strong run late on. ‘He won nicely and has showed his wellbeing. He appears in fine form and that was a nice win in the end. He should continue on his upward spiral.’
Today’s runners come from Windsor. The Qatar Racing owned OUT OF THE FLAMES takes her chance in the first race. ‘She was very unlucky not to win last time and this should be no problem for her at all. She is a nice filly and I hope she will be one for black type later on in the year.’ ELYSIUM DREAM was very green on debut at Lingfield and should improve no end for that run here. FAST AND HOT is backing up from Friday at Newbury but doesn’t have to carry a penalty and with the ground being on the soft side he should be very hard to beat if the Newbury run hasn’t taken too much out of him.