The son of Twirling Candy the little known American stallion was the sole representative of the Richard Hannon team on the final day of the Chester May meeting. The Listed Dee Stakes looked a hot contest on paper, VIRENS ARMY was sent off 12/1fourth pick in the market. The betting was headed by the expensive son of Lope De Vega, Linguistic, owned by Godolphin coming off the back of an impressive win at the Craven meeting.
They went off at a good clip from the outset, the Middleham Park owned colt was settled midfield under a patient Silvestre De Sousa. He travelled easily throughout and turning for home always looked like getting his head in front. Linguistic and Housesofparliament came to him late on, but he kept fighting all the way up to the line. ‘He never really looked like getting beat. He travelled beautifully and was tough as boots in the final half a furlong. He is a horse that would also be better suited on a bigger track but todays win shows his tenacity. This opens up plenty of options, so I will see how he pulls up, but the obvious choice would be the Tercentary Stakes at Royal Ascot’ Richard said.
Evening racing at Ascot and Richard sent five horses to post. AMLAK took her place in the first race for two year old fillies. She’s by Invincible Spirit owned by Al Shaqab and in a race where the winner had the experience she ran a nice fourth. ‘She has been showing us plenty at home, so I was very happy with her effort. She will come on a lot for the experience and could easily see her lining up at Ascot. Obviously there is plenty of water to pass under the bridge before then, but with the necessary improvement I can see her being a really nice filly.’
TABARRAK went off second favourite in the Class 2 Handicap over seven furlongs for three year olds. He was always to the fore and had to battle against stable mate ATLANTIC SUN to hold on for victory. ‘The three horses all ran really well. MADRINHO was tacking seven furlongs for the second time and ran a nice race to get fourth. He will improve for the run and I can see him running some nice races this year. TABARRAK has always been a horse we have liked. He has had some fancy entries and by the way he is going, he deserves his chance in some better races. The Jersey Stakes at Ascot is a likely target. ATLANTIC SUN having his first start this year ran incredibly well. Tom gave him a lovely ride, stalking Tabarrak the whole way only getting beat a head for second. All three horses are in for a good year.’
The boxes are on the road today across the country with 12 runners at four tracks. PREROGATIVE is taking his chance in the two year old novice stakes at Ascot over five furlongs. ‘The Godolphin runner ran well the other day at Doncaster and looks the one to beat. I really like out colt and couldn’t be happier with his work at home. He will improve plenty for the run but I think he will run very well today’. The other two year old on the day is KREBS CYCLE at Lingfield. ‘He’s our best chance today, especially with Ryan Moore in the saddle. He has improved again from his win the other day at Bath, so even with a penalty I can see him running well again.’
HUMPHREY BOGART is running in the Derby Trial at Lingfield. ‘He has come on again from his run at Epsom where he almost ran down So Mi Dar in a cracking finish to the Derby Trial. As long as he gets a nice run I think he will be right there at the end.’ HAIL CLODIUS is having his second run back after a long lay off. ‘I can see him running a really nice race today. This appears to be more his trip and he improved so much for that first run. I would be disappointed if he wasn’t in the first three.’