Brian Meehan is confident Hannibal Barca can make his mark at the highest level next season, after outrunning his odds at Doncaster.
The Salisbury novice winner faced a big step up in class for the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy on Saturday.
But after being sent off a widely unconsidered 25-1 shot, the Zoffany colt was beaten just two lengths into fourth place by red-hot favourite Luxembourg, delighting his trainer in the process.
Meehan said: “It was a great run and it was only his third start.
“He could easily have been second.”
Meehan won the 2009 Craven Stakes with Delegator, who went on to find only the brilliant Sea The Stars too strong in the 2000 Guineas a few weeks later.
The Manton handler could follow the same route with Hannibal Barca, adding: “I think a mile or a mile and a quarter is going to be his best trip, and we could start him off in the Craven next year.
“He’s a proper horse, and there’s a lot of physical improvement in him.
“He’s definitely Group One class for next year.”
https://www.geegeez.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2.63258622.jpg10992199Geegeez Newshttps://www.geegeez.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/geegeez_banner_new_300x100.pngGeegeez News2021-10-24 10:09:262021-10-24 10:09:26Meehan has high hopes for Hannibal Barca in 2022
Dandalla burst from the wilderness with a classy performance to win the Listed Arran Scottish Sprint EBF Fillies’ Stakes at Ayr.
Twice a Group-race winner as a two-year-old, the Karl Burke-trained filly had failed to live up to expectations this season.
Tweet Tweet took the field along up the stands rail, with Bimble prominent on the far side, but Dandalla (13-2) took it up over a furlong out under Ben Curtis and won cosily by a length and three-quarters in a record time for the five and a half furlongs. Bimble was second, with Keep Busy a short head away third.
The syndicate-owned filly’s connections have eyes on a major move back up in class next, for the Group One Qatar Prix de l’Abbaye at ParisLongchamp.
“We saw it coming,” said owners’ spokesman Nick Bradley.
“We fell into the trap of trying to step her up for the Guineas and hadn’t realised it was five rather than six (she needed) when we came back in trip.
“(Jockey) Jamie Spencer pointed that out after she ran at Pontefract – so give him credit. Ben (Curtis) rode her well at Beverley, but she was drawn in the car park (that day), and we thought she’d win today.
“She’s always had the ability, but we kept putting her in the wrong race or tactics were wrong.
“If she had disappointed she’d have gone for a Listed race at Ascot. She’s obviously won well, so she’s going to go for the Abbaye next.”
Elsewhere on the card, Vertiginous confirmed the form of her runs in the Queen Mary and Lowther Stakes to get off the mark with a Listed success in the British EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes.
The Brian Meehan-trained filly was the only maiden among the 13 runners, but her performances at Group level showed she had plenty of ability – and she delivered in convincing style.
Travelling well throughout in the hands of Paul Mulrennan, Vertiginous (17-2) made all to score by two lengths from Mitbaahy in a course record time for two-year-olds.
Ger Lyons’ Irish raider Geocentric was a length away third.
Meehan said: “I’m very pleased. She’s been consistent all year. We’ve been running her over six on her last two starts, but she’s got so much pace.
“She’s a lovely filly, very talented and has got a super temperament. She’s as cool as anything and takes it all in her stride.
“I went up there with good confidence because I knew she was going to run a big race – her form was so good, and she’s a model of consistency.
“I think there’s more to come, perhaps in the the Cornwallis, and we’ll look at other options.”
The well-backed 4-1 favourite Call Me Ginger led home a one-two for trainer Jim Goldie in the Virgin Bet Ayr Bronze Cup – giving Mulrennan a double.
The in-form rider produced the five-year-old with a late run on the far side to lead in the final half-furlong and win by half a length from stablemate Be Proud.
https://www.geegeez.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2.59870804-scaled.jpg12802560Geegeez Newshttps://www.geegeez.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/geegeez_banner_new_300x100.pngGeegeez News2021-09-17 16:24:032021-09-17 16:24:03Dandalla storms back to winning form at Ayr
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