WITH York playing the role of racing's West End, a familiar double act stepped into the limelight at Salisbury's second meeting with trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes notching up a double, writes John Hoskins.
The Marlborough-based training stable has been uncharacteristically quiet with its two-year-olds this season, as was exemplified by Beacon who disappointed when sent off a strong favourite at Doncaster.
However, Hannon attributed the dismal showing to the horse in the adjacent stall playing up on Thursday.
“Beacon got all excited, banged the gate as he jumped out and ran far too free, but Richard, (Hughes) pictured, managed to get him buried today and he won nicely. There's no reason why he won't get further.”
The two-year-old provided the first winner for the stallion Paco Boy, who Hannon trained to land three group one triumphs including the Lochinge Stakes. He stands at Highclere Stud and has covered 25 mares for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
Hannon was considerably less confident about Crystal Nymph who relished the extra two furlongs in the feature 10 furlong race at Salisbury.
“I thought she was badly handicapped and I told the owner so over the phone this morning,” he confessed. “She ran well last time but she like others have taken some time to get their coats.”
Unlike Hannon, Moreton-in-the- Marsh trainer John Gallagher had never saddled a winner at Salisbury and expected the unwanted statistic to remain unchanged after the competitiive six furlong handicap.
However recent Goodwood scorer Iseemist finally got him on the scoreboard.
“She's had a couple of runs on the all-weather but she definitely prefers running on grass. This was quite a tough race and I didn't want Michael [Murphy] to get there too early but he was committed. She's quite versatile; she gets an easy seven or a stiff six.”
Two years ago Estimate, who gave the Queen one of her proudest moments in racing in last year's Ascot Gold Cup, first gave notice of what was to come in Salisbury's ten furlong fillies maiden. Sultanina showed real ability when virtually coming from last to first in yesterday's renewal.
The Bathwick Tyres Evening is next up at Salisbury on Thursday. The first race is at 6.05pm. For more details, contact http://www.salisburyracecourse.co.uk/.