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Snow Lantern to miss 1000 Guineas and wait for York

Leading Qipco 1000 Guineas contender Snow Lantern is to miss the Newmarket Classic and instead run at York’s Dante meeting.

The daughter of two Guineas winners in being by Frankel out of Sky Lantern, like her dam she is trained by Richard Hannon.

She was third-favourite for the fillies’ Classic having beaten John and Thady Gosden’s Derab – who Enable’s half-brother – by a length and three-quarters.

Hannon said on his website: “Following a discussion with connections, Snow Lantern will not be taking up her engagement in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and will instead be aimed for either the Group Three Musidora Stakes or the Listed Michael Seeley Stakes at York’s May meeting.

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“With the Michael Seeley being run over a mile and the Musidora over a mile and a quarter, both of these races will give us options and gives her an extra couple of weeks.

“Either race will give us a good guide on where we stand for the rest of the season with her too. She holds entries in the Epsom Oaks and Prix de Diane, and these engagements will be dependant on her York performance.

“There are plenty of options coming up for her. She is a special filly, with a beautiful pedigree and has already proved an exciting prospect for her owner-breeders, Rockcliffe Stud”

On the same card, Hannon landed the Greenham Stakes with Chindit, who has now won four of his five outings with his sole defeat coming on soft ground in the Dewhurst.

“Chindit came out of the race brilliantly, he was in the pen most of the next day and has cantered this morning and he’s fine,” said Hannon on Tuesday.

“His form is solid and it looks like he’s going to be suited by the test of the Guineas. To me it looked as if he was crying out for a mile.”

Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham
Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On the other side of the coin, however, was Happy Romance, who failed to see out seven furlongs in the Fred Darling and will now revert to sprinting.

“She just didn’t stay, so we’ll go sprinting,” said Hannon.

“I must admit I thought she was sure to stay, but she clearly didn’t.

“I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong, it happens often enough. There are still plenty of races she can go for and she’s already won a Super Sprint, a Group Three and a sales race at York already and the owners have had a ball.

“There are many good days left in her yet.”

Guineas outing still to be confirmed for Snow Lantern

No decision has yet been made as to whether impressive Newbury winner Snow Lantern will line up in the Qipco 1000 Guineas.

The daughter of two Guineas winners in being by Frankel out of Sky Lantern, like her dam she is trained by Richard Hannon.

She is currently third-favourite for the fillies’ Classic having beaten John and Thady Gosden’s Derab – who Enable’s half-brother – by a length and three-quarters.

“We still don’t know if she’s going to run in the Guineas,” said Hannon.

“She’s a good filly, but we haven’t made up our minds yet. I’ll have to talk to the owners about everything and see what they say.”

On the same card, Hannon landed the Greenham Stakes with Chindit, who has now won four of his five outings with his sole defeat coming on soft ground in the Dewhurst.

“Chindit came out of the race brilliantly, he was in the pen most of the next day and has cantered this morning and he’s fine,” said Hannon on Tuesday.

“His form is solid and it looks like he’s going to be suited by the test of the Guineas. To me it looked as if he was crying out for a mile.”

Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham
Chindit (far side) got going late to win the Greenham (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

On the other side of the coin, however, was Happy Romance, who failed to see out seven furlongs in the Fred Darling and will now revert to sprinting.

“She just didn’t stay, so we’ll go sprinting,” said Hannon.

“I must admit I thought she was sure to stay, but she clearly didn’t.

“I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong, it happens often enough. There are still plenty of races she can go for and she’s already won a Super Sprint, a Group Three and a sales race at York already and the owners have had a ball.

“There are many good days left in her yet.”

Chindit prevails in thrilling finish to Greenham

Chindit is Newmarket-bound after getting on top close home to win the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Richard Hannon’s Champagne Stakes winner was the 7-4 market leader, despite disappointing on soft ground in the Dewhurst when he was last seen.

But he was made to work extremely hard by Archie Watson’s previously unbeaten Mehmento, who had won both his starts at Southwell.

Keen in the early stages for Hollie Doyle, by halfway she had given her mount his head and let him stride into a clear advantage.

The move caught most of the others on the hop and soon they were all under pressure. With a furlong to run it looked as if Mehmento may have a big enough lead to hold on, but his stride was just beginning to shorten.

Pat Dobbs sensed his chance on Chindit and along with The Lir Jet they began to close in on the leader, with Chindit just getting his head in front a few strides before the line.

He won by a neck, with the same back to The Lir Jet, while Coventry Stakes winner Nando Parrado was back in fourth.

The winner was left unchanged at 14-1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas by Betfair.

Hannon said: “He was workmanlike, but I’d rather see that as he was very relaxed in his work so it suggest he wants a mile. That’s changed, as in the winter he was working like a six-furlong horse.

“He will go for the Guineas and I hope he can build up the momentum at Newmarket in the same way he did today towards the finish.

“I just worry if the undulations at Newmarket will let him build up that momentum.

“The French and Irish Guineas would be more convenient tracks, but the (races like) English Guineas are the ones you want to win.”

Parrado in good shape for informative-looking Greenham

Nando Parrado is one of several colts on trial for next month’s Qipco 2000 Guineas in what looks a high-class renewal of the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Clive Cox’s charge produced one of the biggest shocks in Royal Ascot history when landing last season’s Coventry Stakes at 150-1.

The son of Kodiac went on to prove that performance was no fluke, however – filling the runner-up spot behind star American filly Campanelle in the Prix Morny before again finding only one too strong when stepped up to seven furlongs for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.

Cox reports Nando Parrado in rude health ahead of his reappearance, saying: “He’s pleased me very much and has been working nicely.

“He was a solid Group Two winner in the Coventry and ran some great races in defeat after that at Group One level.

“It was very, very testing ground in Paris for the Lagardere, so it was a bit (inconclusive regarding trip).

“We’ve got confidence in him over seven (furlongs) and I still think a mile is well within his compass.”

The likely favourite is the the Richard Hannon-trained Chindit, who looked every inch a top-class colt in the making when winning his first three juvenile starts – completing his hat-trick in the Group Two Champagne Stakes.

He returns with perhaps a little to prove after failing to fire on his most recent outing in the Dewhurst at Newmarket.

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Chindit (left) winning the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster
Chindit (left) winning the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“On that day (of the Dewhurst), the times said it was riding like it was heavy ground and both Chindit and Etonian were wheel-spinning the whole way,” Hannon said.

“Chindit travelled into it very well, like he normally does, and didn’t pick up at all. I’m more than happy to forgive that run.”

While Hannon is confident Chindit will enjoy a profitable campaign, he admits he does have reservations about whether he will stay the Guineas trip of a mile.

He told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s got a lot more speed that people think. To me, last year it looked like he wanted all of that seven furlongs when he won the Champagne Stakes and was crying out for a mile.

“I hope that’s the case, but the nice thing with a three-year-old now is if you don’t get the Guineas trip, you can come back to Royal Ascot for six furlongs (in the Commonwealth Cup).”

Alkumait is one of two runners for the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum
Alkumait is one of two runners for the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum (Dan Abraham/PA)

Having struck gold with the brilliant Mohaather in the 2019 renewal, Marcus Tregoning bids for another victory with Alkumait.

Winner of the Mill Reef Stakes at this venue in September, the son of Showcasing is another bidding to bounce back from a disappointing effort in the Dewhurst.

Alkumait is one of two horses carrying the colours of the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum along with the Charlie Hills-trained Mujbar, who won the Horris Hill over the course and distance when last seen.

Interestingly, the owner’s retained rider Jim Crowley has sided with the latter, with Dane O’Neill partnering Alkumait.

“Jim very much had the choice,” said Shadwell racing manager Angus Gold.

“Sunday will tell us a lot more, but the Hills camp have always hoped Mujbar was going to make into a Guineas horse.

“He obviously won a Group race as a two-year-old, as did Alkumait, but everything about Alkumait that I have seen suggests he’s more of a sprinter – and I know Jim feels the same.

“Marcus wants to see whether he would stay seven furlongs. We’ll be trying to get him to settle and finish it off, so we learn whether he does stay. He didn’t stay in the Dewhurst last year, but that might not have been just down to stamina.

“I think Jim is looking to the future and we’re thinking that if Mujbar has come on, he could be a Guineas horse, whereas I would be pleasantly surprised if Alkumait made a Guineas horse.

“We could all be wrong and I’d be delighted to be proven wrong, but at this stage I see Alkumait as more of a Commonwealth Cup type.”

Fundamental in winning action at Chelmsford
Fundamental in winning action at Chelmsford (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Frankie Dettori partners dual Chelmsford scorer Fundamental for John and Thady Gosden.

John Gosden said: “He won well the other day at Chelmsford and seven furlongs might be his trip.

“I think it looks a really good trial. In fact I think they have all been good trials this week – the Craven and Nell Gwyn, which looked very nice, and this looks a strong Greenham.

“That is what we want, nice horses around.”

Chindit tops Greenham contenders

Ante-post favourite Chindit is one of 12 colts declared for the Watership Down Stud Too Darn Hot Greenham Stakes at Newbury.

Richard Hannon’s charge was hugely impressive in winning his first three starts as a juvenile – completing his hat-trick with a Group Two victory in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

However, the son of Wootton Bassett returns to action on a recovery mission on Sunday, having failed to fire when last seen contesting the Dewhurst at Newmarket in October.

Marcus Tregoning’s Alkumait is in a similar situation, with the Mill Reef Stakes winner making his first appearance since finishing last of 14 in the Dewhurst.

Also prominent in the betting is the Clive Cox-trained Nando Parrado, who was a shock 150-1 winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer, before going on to finish second in back-to-back Group Ones in France.

Mehmento is a fascinating contender for trainer Archie Watson, jockey Hollie Doyle and owners Hambleton Racing.

The Mehmas colt faces a big rise in class, but could hardly have been more impressive in winning twice on the all-weather at Southwell.

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Cosmo Charlton, Hambleton’s head racing manager, said: “He’s done nothing wrong, dotting up twice at Southwell.

“On the second occasion, he actually recorded one of the quickest times ever at Southwell – I think the final two furlongs were in the top 10 in Southwell history, and obviously there has been some good older horses that have won there over the years.

“He’s done that hard on the bridle as well, so he’s a horse with immense potential.

“He’s a grinder who gets down to work – and when you give him the office he really picks up.

“It’s hard to know how good he is until he’s given a proper test. Going from Southwell to the Greenham is probably not the normal path – but he’s in great form, and it’s certainly worth a shout, given how impressive he’s been.”

David Menuisier pitches new recruit Xaario into the race, with the ex-French colt boasting some smart bits of form having been beaten two lengths by subsequent Group One scorer Sealiway on his debut before hacking up by six lengths next time.

He disappointed on his final start for Pia and Joakim Brandt, but Xaario had a valid excuse.

Menuisier said: “He did something to his back on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp in October and had to have surgery.

“His previous form had looked quite good in winning by six lengths and finishing behind Sealiway, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on in the Greenham.

“If he were to run well on Sunday and go for a Guineas, I think he would be more likely to go to France than Newmarket as racing round a bend would probably suit him better.”

Fillies with Classic aspirations get their chance to shine in the preceding Dubai Duty Free Stakes – better known as the Fred Darling.

The standard is set by Andrew Balding’s Alcohol Free, who rounded off her two-year-old campaign with a Group One success in the Cheveley Park Stakes.

Also featuring in a field of 17 are Cox’s Isabella Giles, Hannon’s Happy Romance, the Karl Burke-trained Dandalla and the unbeaten Lucid Dreamer from Roger Charlton’s yard.

The first of three Group races on the card is the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes – registered as the John Porter.

Jim Goldie’s stable stalwart Euchen Glen heads a nine-strong line-up, with the William Haggas-trained Al Aasy the likely market leader.

Other hopefuls include Tyson Fury and Outbox, who has won his last two starts for the Hambleton Racing team.

“He won well at Doncaster last time under a great ride from Hollie Doyle and he was a good winner of a handicap before that as well,” said Cosmo Charlton.

“He’s got a fantastic pedigree and hopefully he could run a good race for us.”

Chindit tops 14 contenders seeking Dewhurst gold

Ante-post favourite Chindit is set to face 13 rivals when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in Saturday’s Darley Dewhurst Stakes.

A winner on his Doncaster debut in early July, Richard Hannon’s juvenile doubled his tally in a Listed race at Ascot before returning to Doncaster to complete his hat-trick in last month’s Group Two Champagne Stakes.

Hannon, who has never won the Dewhurst, also saddles a second unbeaten colt in Etonian, who has won twice at Sandown, most recently claiming the Group Three Solario Stakes in August.

Alkumait was added to the Dewhurst field on Monday
Alkumait was added to the Dewhurst field on Monday (Dan Abraham/PA)

Leading owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum has a strong hand after Marcus Tregoning’s impressive Mill Reef scorer Alkumait was supplemented to join the Owen Burrows-trained Albasheer. The latter was beaten a length into second place by Chindit at Doncaster four weeks ago.

A formidable Irish challenge is headed by National Stakes winner Thunder Moon, trained by Joseph O’Brien, whose father Aidan saddles a couple of runners in St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley in a bid for a seventh win in the race.

Jim Bolger also has a fine Dewhurst record with five victories and is represented by an interesting outsider in Poetic Flare, who has not been seen since making a winning debut at Naas in March, while Jessica Harrington sends Group Two winner Cadillac.

A stellar field is completed by Andrew Balding’s pair of Fivethousandtoone and Tactical, Decisive Edge (Brian Meehan), Devilwala (Ralph Beckett) and Devious Company (Tom Dascombe).

Chindit work has Hannon excited ahead of strong-looking Dewhurst

Richard Hannon hailed a piece of work completed by his Darley Dewhurst Stakes hope Chindit last week as “one of the best” he has seen for years on his Herridge gallops.

Hannon sends two unbeaten colts to Newmarket this weekend, with Solario Stakes scorer Etonian set to join Champagne Stakes winner Chindit on the Rowley Mile.

Pat Dobbs had the choice of mount and will partner the latter – who heads Coral’s market at 5-2 ahead of the Joseph O’Brien-trained Thunder Moon at 11-4 – with Tom Marquand taking the ride on Etonian.

“On Thursday morning Chindit did an extremely good piece of work, probably one of the best pieces of work we have seen at Herridge for a lot of years,” Hannon told Unibet.

“We are hopeful that both will run very well, but I think Pat Dobbs was particularly pleased with Chindit and he had the choice of rides.

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“On Tuesday morning Etonian did a very nice piece of work, he has never been that much of a showy horse, but he worked well and he is on target for the Dewhurst, Tom Marquand is going to ride.”

Impressive Mill Reef winner Alkumait has been supplemented for the Group One feature.

Alkumait was an impressive winner of the Mill Reef
Alkumait was an impressive winner of the Mill Reef (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Trained by Marcus Tregoning, the Showcasing colt was a taking victor in the Group Two at Newbury last month.

Owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum already had the Owen Burrows-trained Albasheer, runner-up in the Champagne Stakes, engaged, but connections have opted to further strengthen their hand.

Tregoning said: “He runs on Saturday and I’ve been very happy with him since Newbury.

“Obviously we don’t know what the ground is going to be like yet, and we don’t know how many of the Irish horses are coming over.

“Most Showcasings go on soft ground anyway and as he’s in good form, we thought we had to go for it.

“It’s been a while since I won the Dewhurst (with Sir Percy) in 2005, but we’ve had nothing good enough to run in it since. Hopefully this is a good horse, he’s looked it so far.

“The fact Sheikh Hamdan had another horse already entered didn’t come into the reckoning really.”

Thunder Moon, who made a splash when winning the National Stakes in good style, is one of three possibles for O’Brien along with Snapraeterea and State Of Rest.

His father, Aidan, has left in Royal Ascot winner Battleground, who was a late defector from the National Stakes, Wembley, who was second in the National, and St Mark’s Basilica, who was due to run in France on Sunday but was caught up in the contaminated feed situation.

A total of 18 juveniles remain in the mix.

Chindit has Champagne sparkle for Hannon

Chindit remained unbeaten as he posted a decisive victory for Richard Hannon in the bet365 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Successful on his only two previous racecourse starts, including a Listed race at Ascot, the son of Wootton Bassett was following up Hannon and jockey Pat Dobbs’ victory in this Group Two event with Threat last year.

Chindit was sent off the marginal second-favourite at 15-8 – with another unbeaten colt, Owen Burrows’ Albasheer, just shading that battle.

But on the track it was Hannon’s rising star who emerged with a length verdict from his main market rival, after they had both travelled powerfully into it, having been towards the rear of runners in the early stages.

Joseph O’Brien’s State Of Rest was just a short-head back in third, with the front three well clear.

Betfair gave the winner an 8-1 from 12-1 quote for next year’s 2000 Guineas, and he is set to further test his Classic claims in the Dewhurst at Newmarket next month.

Hannon said: “He got there quite easily and I thought the first two travelled well and the first three were a long way clear of the fourth.

“That’s probably the best two-year-old race of the season so far. The second is a very good horse and the third obviously is.

“We always thought he was top drawer, but you don’t know until you come here.

“To find a very good horse like him with a good temperament is something you don’t get every year. This is another step up and it’s on to the Dewhurst, hopefully.

“That’s the plan at the moment. That’s the big race of the year and that is where we’re heading, along with Etonian.

“His attitude and the way he behaves gives him every chance of being a horse for the 2000 Guineas – he does look a miler.”