We’ve enjoyed seven winners and 19 placed horses since the start of September which is not a bad strike rate and as we approach the back end of the season there are still plenty more opportunities and several more horses to get out so I’m hopeful we can add to our impressive tally for the year. We have earned over 2.2 million pounds so far in prize money this flat turf season and bearing in mind we managed 2.4 million last year, I’d like to think we’re right on track of reaching and breaching that amount by the end of the campaign.
I was also delighted to provide Tom Marquand with his first Group winner courtesy of 40/1 shot ANNA NERIUM in the G3 Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury on Thursday. Tom is a great rider and a great person to have in the yard as well. He rides out most mornings and spends a lot of time at Everleigh where he is an invaluable part of the team along with my assistant Tom Ward and hopefully this will be the first of many big race wins as he really deserves any success he has. ANNA NERIUM was stepping back down in trip but the fast pace really suited her and she may head up to Doncaster next week for one of their valuable Nurseries. Speaking of which, we’ll be sending a few more up the M1 to Town Moor including TAJAANUS who may take her chance in the May Hill while TANGLED and ELYSIUM DREAM will show up in the Sales race.
Focusing on matters more imminent and we’ve got runners at Kempton and Ascot tomorrow and my assessments of their chances are below.
1:35 – Novice Stakes
ROBINSON CRUSOE (Hollie Doyle)
He’s learning all the time and will get better with racing. I’ve been very happy with his work and he should run a decent race but his future could be in Handicaps further down the line.
ROUNDHEAD (Tom Marquand)
A lovely looking colt by Helmet who is particularly well named, wouldn’t you say? He goes very well and has been showing more than enough to suggest he’s up to winning races. Obviously he’ll come on for the run but this looks a very good starting point and I’d be hopeful of a bold show. He should run well.
2:10 – Fillies’ Novice Stakes
TRUMP ALEXANDER (Tom Marquand)
This looks a decent little race with several well related newcomers, including ours, but she will almost certainly come on for the experience and is one to put in your notebooks for the future. She has a lot of talent but I need to get a run in to her and see where we stand with regards to later in the season.
4:30 – Novice Stakes
MAYPOLE - NON RUNNER
5:05 – Handicap
REPTON (Tom Marquand)
He missed the break and never got into things at Goodwood last time so draw a line through it as I know he’s much better than what he showed there and he ran well at this course on his seasonal debut at the Shergar Cup meeting last month. He’s racing off his lowest ever mark and I think the drop back to 6f will suit, if he jumps on terms. It’s a competitive race but he’s done nothing at home since his last run so arrives here a fresh, happy horse. The ability is there and he’ll pop up one of these days.
2:05 – G3 September Stakes
DANEHILL KODIAC (Sean Levey) left
I was very impressed when he won on his first start of the season at Newmarket as he would have needed it but that didn’t stop him bolting up by 3 ½ lengths. The Handicapper has taken no chances and put him up to 103 so we’re pretty much forced to come here off his new mark. Obviously he still has a little to find with the likes of Midterm and Chemical Charge but he has winning form on the AW and this trip is right up his street. He’s got a good draw in 1 and if he can get a nice easy lead he could take some pegging back. He’s not short on class.
2:40 – Nursery
TIG TOG (Sean Levey)
I think a fast run seven should suit so I’m hoping there’s plenty of pace on here as she did all her best work at the end last time and the Handicapper has given her a small chance by dropping her a pound. She’s no world beater but this isn’t a G1 and I’ll be disappointed if she isn’t capable of finishing in the money.
3:15 – Handicap
VENTURA BLUES (Sean Levey)
We’re backing him up pretty quickly after his win over C/D on Wednesday but he’s in great heart at present and the owners were keen to give it a go as he absolutely loves the track. This is a step up in grade but he more than deserves to take his chance and he looks solid each way material.
MUSTAARID (Dane O’Neil)
I like this horse a lot and know there is a decent race in him. Both his wins have been on the All Weather which gives me confidence and, for a front runner; he has a good draw in 2. Things didn’t go his way last time at Haydock where he got taken on for the lead and if he can get out in front and relax I think he could take plenty of catching. He works well and arrives here in very good spirits.
5:00 – Handicap
PLANT POT POWER (Sean Levey)
Ultra consistent and a real tough nut that rarely runs a bad race and he’s got a course and distance win which bodes well for his chances here. It’s a wide open race but he has as good a chance as any and will be right there.
5:30 – Handicap
RITA’S MAN (Kieran O’Neill)
His recent form is a little uninspiring but his earlier season efforts were very good although he is much higher in the weights now which may explain why he’s been struggling. This is his best trip however, and he’d have a squeak if getting some luck.
Don’t forget to check back here (@RHannonracing and @Stanjamesracing) next week and during Doncaster’s St Leger meeting where I’ll be posting tweets and keeping everyone up to date with the news from the yard as it happens.