TRAINER Richard Hannon senior made a dash from a grandchild’s christening to land a double at Salisbury on Sunday – but not in the way he would have understandably anticipated.
Professor had been confidently expected to land the feature sprint for the second year in succession but was upstaged by his very much less fancied stablemate Indignant who was never far off the pace at 18/1.
Professor however had to be roused by champion jockey Richard Hughes but made up so much ground as he came around the field to fleetingly suggest he would claw back the deficit but the winning post came agonisingly too early.
“Another few strides and he would have done,” remarked Hannon, who has limited opportunities to place the filly. “But I’m glad for the owners, they are really nice people.”
He was then to explain to the stewards why the filly had shown improved form from her seasonal debut when she was beaten almost 20 lengths.
“That’s easy. She stumbled out of the stalls and almost unseated her rider.”
However, Hughes did not have to wait long for compensation as Sixty only needed to be pushed out to take the six-furlong race for juveniles.
Hannon’s hopes of a treble, however, evaporated when Dorraar ran on too strongly for Royal Connection to give jockey Kieren Fallon a double after Xinbama had comfortably taken the opener once a gap appeared on the rails.
The next meet at Salisbury is on Wednesday.