While the focus may have been on the Epsom Derby this weekend, a Group 3 win by the talented Anna Nerium resulted in a well-earned milestone being reached for the Hannon team. The ultra-impressive win was the 1000th individual career win for Richard Hannon Jr since taking over the reins in 2014.
Anna Nerium’s return to the winner’s circle at Epsom on Saturday came in the form of a decisive victory in the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes. After a close up second over a mile in Listed company at Goodwood back in May, the 4yo daughter of Dubawi strongly ran out the 1mile ½ furlong contest to claim her third Group 3 victory of her 15-start career. After what was certainly an emotional day for Team Hannon as well as for Anna Nerium’s owner Jeanette McCreery, the mare will now be targeted towards a possible start during the Ascot carnival.
But the stable was not yet finished with another two winners on Saturday; the first an exciting first win by a 2yo filly at Lingfield, and the other a promising 3yo colt bringing up his second win of his career. The daughter of first season sire Cable Bay, Separate had shown plenty of promise when second on debut in a Newbury maiden back in April before an encouraging run at York in the Listed Margate Fillies’ Stakes. On Saturday the filly justified her short price when putting on a dominant display in the Class 5 Fillies novice stakes over 5 furlongs at Lingfield. Owned by Martin Hughes and Mark Murphy, Separate fought off all challenges with over 1 furlong to go to score by 3 ¾ lengths with a further 5 lengths back to the third placegetter. The impressive win will now see the filly work towards a possible Ascot berth in either the Group 2 Queen Mary or Group 3 Albany Stakes.
The more seasoned Brian Epstein also added to the tally on Saturday, with a second career win for the 3yo son of Dark Angel coming through a well-earned Handicap win over 7 furlongs at Musselburgh. Coming off three starts this prep over the mile including a last start second at Doncaster, Brian Epstein relished the 7 furlong contest and put pay to challengers over the final furlong to win by 2 ¾ lengths for Chelsea Thoroughbreds and Martin Hughes. He will now be aimed towards obtaining a place in the Britannia Stakes over 8 furlongs at Ascot.
Congratulations to all connections and the entire team that made this weekend equally unforgettable and emotional.