Deauville raid for Dick Turpin
Richard Hannon was last week lamenting the retirement of Canford Cliffs, but five days later the trainer found himself applying the finishing touches to a preparation that may lead to Dick Turpin proving a ready-made substitute for the brilliant miler in the second half of the season.
Yesterday, Hannon was supervising Dick Turpin's last piece of serious work prior to a trip to Deauville for Monday's Prix Jacques le Marois, the feature race that has been moved back a day to fit in with France's complex public holiday schedule.
While Canford Cliffs took on the high-profile engagements this season, winning the Lockinge at Newbury and Royal Ascot's Queen Anne Stakes prior to his Sussex Stakes second behind Frankel, stablemate Dick Turpin has also been busy, winning twice from four starts and firmly re-establishing his reputation.
"Everything's fine with Dick Turpin," Hannon said. "He's pleased me at home and the plan is to go to France on Monday. He's in good form."
As a three-year-old, Dick Turpin finished runner-up in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket as well as the French equivalent at Longchamp.
He was also second to Canford Cliffs in the St James's Palace Stakes and his record of eight wins from 17 starts netting more than £500,000 in prize money for owner John Manley marks him out as an exceptional money-spinner.
The colt's sole Group One success came on French soil, in the Prix Jean Prat, at Chantilly last year.
Manley, who formerly had horses with Geoff Lewis, has long held an ambition to campaign Dick Turpin abroad and the Jacques le Marois seems a positive stepping stone to achieving that.
Dick Turpin has always been seen as one who performed better with some ease in the ground. The sudden bursts of rain that have been hitting Deauville would be welcome news to connections this weekend.
Meanwhile, sickness forced Hannon's No 1 jockey Richard Hughes to give up his three rides at Nottingham last night. He is expected to be back in action at Salisbury this afternoon. (© Daily Telegraph, London)