Following on from the tremendous performance of talented two-year-old colt Threat when second in the G2 Coventry Stakes yesterday, Team Hannon saddles up five runners on the second day of the Royal Ascot meeting. The stable has a representative in both two-year-old events on the card, with Partridge taking her place against the fillies in the G2 Queen Mary and Temple Of Heaven, the current race favourite, in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.
In recent years, Team Hannon has produced several smart juveniles that have gone very close to claiming the Queen Mary Stakes including star filly Tiggy Wiggy who was second in the 2014 edition before going on to claim the Super Sprint at Newbury, the G2 Lowther Stakes and the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes in her next three starts. With Out Of The Flames running third in 2017 and Come On Leicester finishing just a length and a quarter from the winner in 2018, Team Hannon saddles Partridge for the five furlong event. Having finished second in her first two career outings, the daughter of Zoffany looks to go one better when taking on the twenty-six-horse field for owner Prince Faisal Salman. “She’s a nice moving filly with plenty of scope, so I’ve got no concerns ground wise and I think she has the ability to run a huge race, if she can get some luck.”
After bringing up Hannon’s 1000th winner at Epsom earlier this month, Anna Nerium takes her place in the G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes this afternoon. Having piloted Anna Nerium to all five of her career wins, Tom Marquand will be looking to continue his profitable partnership with the mare when contesting the mile event for owner Jeanette McCreery. “A mile on ground with cut is probably her optimum and while she’s not really much to look at she’s got a very big heart and is extremely consistent. It’s a big field but her form is right up there and I don’t think she’ll be far away.”
Immediately following the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, Team Hannon will be back in action saddling two runners for the Royal Hunt Cup. Another last start winner, War Glory is one of 30 horses contesting the handicap along with stable mate Red Starlight. Having originally been vying for a spot in the field as first reserve, the gelding was elevated into the field and looks a genuine contender on the back of his recent terrific form. “He is a proper star, he’s in great form and absolutely thriving since his last win at Chelmsford when giving 6lbs to the second. The Handicapper put him up to 99 so he’s off a career high mark but could easily run into a place.”
Also racing in the Royal Hunt Cup, the Cheveley Park owned Red Starlight returns to the Ascot track after having previously placed in every start on the course including a third placing two starts back over this distance. The ever-consistent mare has been in excellent form of late with three placings from her four starts this preparation. “The step back up to a mile will suit much better, as will the fast pace. It’s the Royal Hunt Cup so I couldn’t be massively confident she’ll win but she has a lot of ability and has been in great form at home. She’s finished second and third in both her starts at Ascot so far which surely means a win is imminent.”
Rounding out the day, Temple Of Heaven takes his place in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes over five furlongs. The undefeated son of Iffraaj comes into the race off the back of two impressive performances with a win at Nottingham in April and a win at Newbury in May. “He’s a very tough colt who showed a great attitude to win a decent Novice at Newbury last time despite getting involving in plenty of bumping and barging, but that is valuable experience for running in a race like this and he’s done plenty of work with Threat. We had a few options for him, including the Coventry, but he’s got a lot of speed and a great turn of foot so this was the obvious race. I’ve been very happy with his work and he’s pretty street wise so I see no reason why he can’t be bang there.”
The yard is also set to have a strong presence at Chelmsford City evening races with last season’s 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook contesting the Listed Queen Charlotte Fillies Stakes over seven furlongs. Also heading to the Chelmsford all weather course are three favoured chances in two-year-old filly Bacchalot, in form Maaward and the consistent Embour.