Richard Hannon Stable Tour

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Race horse trainer RICHARD HANNON.

Peter Thomas unearths the secrets of Richard Hannon’s powerful Wiltshire yard

Richard Hannon’s biggest win of 2018 came from an unexpected source but there was no fluke about that victory or the rest of a highly successful fifth campaign for the man at the helm of Herridge Stables.

“Last season began with a bang when Anna Nerium took the Free Handicap and Billesdon Brook surprised everybody – the trainer in particular – by winning the 1,000 Guineas for a fantastic bunch of owners,” says the 43-year-old. “We got to 172 wins and topped £3 million in prize-money for the third time in four years and I’d like to think we could have a lovely bunch of older horses to lead the charge this year. I certainly expect to see Billesdon Brook back to her best and there are plenty of others to back her up.

“The early signs are good among the juveniles and Urban Icon and Boitron are among several who could show up well in the first Classic trials. The weather has been fairly kind to us through the spring and we’re on track for another productive season.”

Stable Profile

Yard: Herridge Racing Stables
Where: Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire
Started training: 2014
Finest hours: A first trainers’ title in 2014, St James’s Palace success with Barney Roy and the 1,000 Guineas last year with Billesdon Brook
Horses in yard: 250
Assistant trainer: Tom Ward
Senior head lads: Tony Gorman, Steve Knight
Racing secretary: Kevin Mason
Jockeys: Sean Levey, Tom Marquand, Hollie Doyle, Rossa Ryan
Apprentices: Mark Crehan, Seamus Cronin, Thore Hammer Hansen, Emma Taff, Luke Catton
Website: richardhannonracing.co.uk

WINNERS IN BRITAIN

2018 172
2017 194
2016 172
2015 195

PROFIT/LOSS TO £1 STAKE

2018 -£345.26
2017 -£79.49
2016 -£211.92
2015 -£348.38

TOTAL PRIZE-MONEY IN 2018

£3,183,585

Older horses

Anna Nerium
Four-year-old filly
Dubawi (sire) – Anna Oleanda (dam)
Owner: Mrs RJ McCreery
Form figures: 728166-
Racing Post Rating 110; Official rating 108
Had a good season last year, winning the European Free Handicap at the Craven meeting and the Group 3 Supreme Stakes on an easy surface at Goodwood in August. She’ll be in the Lockinge, the Sandown Mile and the Conqueror Stakes at Goodwood, but she has to have soft ground. She’s not very big but she’s very talented.

Star quality

Billesdon Brook
4f Champs Elysees – Coplow
Pall Mall Partners and Mrs RJ McCreery
5/41445-
RPR 115 OR 115
The 1,000 Guineas winner will be in all the same races as Anna Nerium but her penalty runs out the day before the Conqueror Stakes – a  Listed race over 1m on Saturday, May 4 – which makes it an obvious target, as she’s won twice before at Goodwood. She’s very well at home, she’s stronger and nearly charged off the end of the gallop when we worked her last week, so I’m convinced she can get back to her best form, as long as we can get her settled.

Billesdon Brook, last year's 1,000 Guineas winner under Sean Levey, is reported back to her best at home

Billesdon Brook, last year’s 1,000 Guineas winner under Sean Levey, is reported back to her best at home

Buridan
4g Choisir – Lady McKell
Al Shaqab Racing
21140-7
RPR 98 OR 92
A lovely colt who pleased me on his reappearance and will be seen in all the best sprint handicaps through the year. He needed the run at Doncaster and I think he can step up markedly on that to add to his two wins over 6f on good to firm ground last season.

Danehill Kodiac
6h Kodiac – Meadow
Davies, Smith, Carr, Brown and Govier
2130/22-
RPR 114 OR 112
Although it’s a long time since he won, he starts the season with no penalties after a layoff following an injury sustained at Chester last May. He gets 1m4f well and will probably start off in the same race on the Roodee. He looks a million dollars and seems to be over his problems.

Oh This Is Us
6h Acclamation – Shamwari Lodge
Team Wallop
326-217
RPR 117 OR 113
He’s done us proud down the years and we can put his below-par run last time down to him not liking the surface at Wolverhampton. He’s still very useful on his day and he’ll have a good chance when he goes to Lingfield for the Mile on Good Friday.

Qaysar
4g Choisir – Coco Demure
Al Shaqab Racing
21/1100-
RPR 103 OR 95
Has been working very well at home of late and will probably head for a valuable 1m handicap at Bath on Good Friday, where I think he’ll be cherry ripe.

Raymond Tusk
4c High Chaparral – Dancing Shoes
Middleham Park Racing XXXI and K Sohi
61261-6
RPR 111 OR 111
Another talented individual who won over 1m3f in Listed company at Hamilton on good to firm ground and then in an Italian Group 2 on good, but I’m convinced he wants a bit of cut.

Red Starlight
4f Pivotal – Star Chart
Cheveley Park Stud
41132-2
RPR 104 OR 100
Three times a winner last season over 7f and 1m – on good to firm and all-weather – and ran really well when second in Listed grade over 1m on good ground at Doncaster on her reappearance. The handicapper didn’t put her up, so I think she’ll go for a valuable handicap at Bath on Good Friday, where she’d have a live chance.

Rum Runner
4c Havana Gold – Thermopylae
Michael Geoghegan
001846-
RPR 93 OR 86
A decent handicapper who won twice for us over 7f last year but is effective over further. He’ll win a couple of races this season, I’m sure. His latest wins have been on good to firm but he has scored with a bit of cut.

Tabarrak
6g Acclamation – Bahati
Hamdan Al Maktoum

134511-
RPR 115 OR 110
Has won four Listed races for us, including two last season, and I’d love to win a Group 3 with him. He’s come back in good form but we have to watch his feet a little bit. He doesn’t often run a bad race and seems to go on any ground.

Yafta
4c Dark Angel – Swiss Dream
Hamdan Al Maktoum
212217-
RPR 114 OR 110
Won the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes last July, as well as a valuable Newmarket handicap in the spring, both on good to firm. We’ll take him to Kempton soon for a morning’s work just to get him going again, then we’ll look at heading back to Newmarket, possibly followed by York and something nice at Ascot.

Three-year-olds

Alhakmah
f No Nay Never – Hureya
Al Shaqab Racing
22-
RPR 79 OR –
Posted two promising efforts as a juvenile, both over 6f on good ground, but has had a couple of minor issues and we’re now trying to get her back to that kind of form. When we do, you’ll see a very good filly.

Beat Le Bon
c Wootton Bassett – Frida La Blonde
Sullivan Bloodstock and Merriebelle Irish Farm
2322-1
RPR 99 OR 96
Finished second in three of his four runs last year but got off the mark at long odds-on over 6f at Lingfield last month and remains a useful colt. The lads who ride him say he won’t get a mile, so I didn’t put him in the Guineas because I knew I’d be tempted to run him – I think he’s that good – but I might put him in the Greenham. He looks like a Jersey horse.

Big Baby Bull
c Tagula – Grotta Del Fauno
Sullivan Bloodstock and Chris Giles
510621-
RPR 89 OR 89
A lovely colt who won his final start of last season by a nose from Fox Power, in a 1m handicap on good to soft at Doncaster, and has come back as a promising type for the new campaign.

Boitron
c Le Havre – Belliflore
Augustin-Normand and Middleham Park
1114-
RPR 107 OR 107
Won a 7f Listed race at Newbury on good ground last summer and we’ve tweaked a few things over the winter. He’s in good form and may well go back to Newbury for the Greenham on Saturday, because I think the mile of the Guineas will suit him. He was fourth on good in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at the Arc meeting, but he’ll go on soft ground no problem.

Brian Epstein
c Dark Angel – Jewel In The Sand
Chelsea Thoroughbreds and Martin Hughes
541-
RPR 82 OR 84
A promising sort who has improved over the winter and is capable of winning a decent handicap. He’s out of a mare who won a Group 2 for us and I think he’s inherited some of that quality.

Chatham House
c Dark Angel – Timely
Denford Stud
35233-2
RPR 80 OR 81
He keeps bumping into one and finished second again last time, but he’ll go to Bath on Good Friday for a 5½f maiden, where I think he’ll finally get his head in front. He’s a decent horse and he could go on from there.

Come On Leicester
f Kodiac – Graphic Guest
King Power Racing
528331-
RPR 95 OR 94
A nice filly but she needs to learn to settle. I think she’s going to end up a sprinter, having won on her final run of last year over 6f on good to soft at Leicester, and we may head to York in May to find out how good she is.

Doughan Alb
c Havana Gold – Sandtime
Khalifa Bin Ahmed Alattiyah
2
RPR 75 OR –
Pleased me very much when running a close second to an odds-on favourite over 1m at Lingfield on his debut and I’m sure he’ll come on a lot from that. He’s a really nice type who’ll stay 1m2f no problem.

Dark horse

Fox Champion
c Kodiac – Folegandros Island
King Power Racing
21-1
RPR 91 OR –
Has always been a good horse and after a little problem following a promising debut on soft ground at Doncaster, we brought him back to win a Kempton novice last October. He built on that when scoring well back on Town Moor over 7f on good to firm on his seasonal reappearance, giving weight all round. He really could be anything now that he’s learned to settle.


Fox Champion (blue and white, Silvestre de Sousa) gets the better of Franz Kafka at Doncaster

Fox Power
c Dark Angel – Zenella
King Power Racing
335132-
RPR 96 OR 95
A very promising type who was narrowly beaten in two nurseries at the tail-end of last season, but I’ve no reason to question his attitude. I’ve always thought he’s a good horse and I think before too long he’ll prove me right.

King Of Change
c Farhh – Salacia
Ali Abdulla Saeed
22-
RPR 76 OR –
Still a maiden after two second-placed runs last year, but he’s worked very well and I think quite a bit of him. He’ll be up to winning at a decent level in the near future.

Kuwait Currency
c Kitten’s Joy – Thebignbadestbunny
Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah
01150-
RPR 103 OR 105
A lovely colt who won a Listed race last year over 1m on good ground at Salisbury before finding Group 1 company a bit hot on his last two runs. He’ll go to the European Free Handicap at the Craven meeting and we’ll make sure we make plenty of use of him because we know he’ll get every yard of the trip. 

Motafaawit
g Intikhab – Rayaheen
Hamdan Al Maktoum
123-
RPR 92 OR 90
Won a 7f novice race on good to firm at Leicester on his debut and then twice ran well in defeat. He’ll go for a conditions race next and I expect him to make up into a useful handicapper. 

Posted
f Kingman – Time Away
R Barnett
2286-
RPR 89 OR 88
Finished second on her first two runs as a two-year-old and wasn’t disgraced when stepped up to Group 3 company next time. She’s rated 88 but I think she can prove herself better than that.

Riviera Nights
c Kingman – Turama
Imad Alsagar
3311-
RPR 89 OR 91
Enjoyed a productive juvenile season, finishing off by winning a novice race at Brighton over 7f on good to firm and a 1m nursery at Ripon on good. He’ll go for a valuable three-year-old handicap over 1m2f at Newbury’s May meeting and I think he’ll be competitive.

Star Of War
f Declaration Of War – Sunshine For Life
MH Al Attiya
725-1
RPR 83 OR 82
Ran well in defeat three times last season and got off the mark on her seasonal debut over 1m at Kempton. I think she can build on that and prove useful.

Star Terms
f Sea The Stars – Best Terms
R Barnett
921123-
RPR 108 OR 108
A very good filly who’s just finding her feet now after a two-year-old season that yielded two wins as well as an excellent third over 1m in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day. She’s done really well this spring and I think she may want 1m2f, but we’ll start her off over 7f in the Fred Darling. I believe she’ll go on any ground.

Urban Icon
c Cityscape – Fauran
Michael Pescod
11-
RPR 93 OR 96
An unbeaten colt who carries a lot of our hopes this season. We put him away after he won his first two races over 6f very easily, and physically he’s done as well as any horse I’ve ever seen here – he was always big but he’s massive now and very strong. He’s done some really nice work both here and on the track at Kempton, and Tom Marquand tells me he thinks he’ll get a mile already. We’ll be looking at the Craven and the Greenham for him and I think he’ll be very competitive wherever he goes. 


Urban Icon leads the field on his way to victory at Salisbury last June: he heads the yard’s Classic charge

A

Watan
c Toronado – Shotgun Gulch
Al Shaqab Racing
1251-
RPR 105 OR 105
Finished last year with a convincing success in a 6f novice race on good to soft at Leicester, is going well at home and shapes as though he wants a mile, so we may send him to Chelmsford on Thursday for a conditions race over that trip.

Well Done Fox
c Acclamation – Excelette
King Power Racing
171220-
RPR 107 OR 107
A consistent performer for us last year, winning three times before being far from disgraced in the Juvenile Turf Sprint at the Breeders’ Cup. He won’t go on soft ground this year and we’ll look at the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes over 6f at Ascot on May 1.

Two-year-olds

We don’t have a lot of early juveniles but I think we’ve got a really nice bunch, including a good number of smart types by Night Of Thunder. Among those pleasing us are Mums Tipple (c Footstepsinthesand – Colomone Cross), a big, strong type with a future; a promising sort of Middleham Park Racing’s named Lexington Force (c by Dabirsim)Audio (c Equiano – Naayla), who has already done some nice work and could be out soon; Written Broadcast (c Gutaifan – Teeline), going very well at the moment; Jack Ruby (c Havana Gold – Make Me Blush), a cheeky little monkey at home but a real trier; and Noonday Gun (c Dubawi – Sky Lantern), who will take time but could be very special. 

Richard Hannon Stable Tour
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