By Simon Jackson.
Richard Hannon targets back to back wins in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday where he is set to saddle four of the 19 runners.
The champion trainer won last year’s first Classic of the season with Night Of Thunder and has entered Estidkhaar, Ivawood, Kool Kompany and Moheet in the feature race on Saturday that offers total prize money of £498,750.
Estidkhaar at 7-1 (Paddy Power) appears to be the most favoured of the Hannon quartet with bookmakers, ahead of Ivawood (12-1), Moheet (20) and Kool Kompany (25).
“Estidhkaar will improve for his Newbury run – like all of mine he needed his first run back – and I have been very happy with him since,” Hannon said of his charge who finished second in the Group 3 Aon Greenham Stakes on his comeback – and one place ahead of stablemate Ivawood. “Estidhkaar will also improve a lot for the step up to a mile as he was staying on nicely at the end in the Greenham which was pleasing,” the trainer continued.
“Ivawood will have come on massively for his Newbury outing, probably more than any of them as he’s a big horse that carries a bit of weight. That trial came a bit soon for him.”
“Kool Kompany was overlooked in the Craven Stakes [won at 14-1] and he continues to be overlooked. He is very dangerous and talented. He was a tough two-year-old and if there are any cracks in the armour of the big names he will find them.”
“He’s now three pounds better off with the horses he beat in the Craven and he’s improved an awful lot for that run. He doesn’t have to lead. He slightly got away with it in the Craven but he did it in different ways last year.”
“The undulations at Newmarket caught [third-placed] Moheet out in the Craven but he has been working brilliantly and he’ll go back there with a good chance.”
Hannon also has two runners entered in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday where he will be represented by Osaila (7-1) and Tiggy Wiggy (20-1).
“Osaila has come in her coat since the Nell Gwyn [won] and looks much better now. I couldn’t be happier with her,” Hannon added.
“She was drawn wide in the Nell Gwyn but she still overcame it and I think that she’s got as good a chance as any of her rivals on Sunday.”
“Tiggy Wiggy will improve for her comeback run and we will ride her a bit differently in the Guineas to how we did at Newbury [third in Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes].
“I could not be confident that she’s as good a three-year-old as she was a two-year-old but she’s been in fine form at home and we’ll all find out very shortly.”
Read ‘Horse Talk with Simon Jackson’ at London24 for the latest horse racing news.