Saturday 25 November 2017

Hannon strong on Suit's top billing

Nick Robson

Richard Hannon is confident Strong Suit will strike at Group One level before the season is out following his courageous effort in Sunday's Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.

The three-year-old was a big disappointment when fancied to give Frankel something to think about in Newbury's Greenham Stakes at the start of the season, but a subsequent breathing operation appears to have turned his career around.

The chestnut impressed when winning the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot and almost made all in France at the weekend, only to be caught in the shadows of the post by both Mutual Trust and Zoffany. Hannon is now planning to return his charge to seven furlongs at Glorious Goodwood.

"Hughesie (Richard Hughes) rode a great race from the front... it was just a shame that they were mowed down close to home," the trainer stated.

"Dropping back to seven furlongs won't be a problem, and the Lennox looks perfect as Strong Suit does not incur a penalty. Also, the Hungerford Stakes (Newbury, August 13) is right up his street and if Strong Suits comes through those safely, we can start looking at another Group One."

Elsewhere, Windsor Castle Stakes winner Frederick Engels is set to clash with Coventry Stakes runner-up Roman Soldier in the Group 2 TNT July Stakes at Newmarket tomorrow.

The pair figure among eight declarations for the six-furlong contest on the opening day of the July festival.

Roman Soldier finished second behind Power at Ascot and trainer Jeremy Noseda said yesterday he was surprised by that effort. "I honestly thought we would finish fourth or fifth at Ascot and if he maintains that level of form I would expect him to be competitive on Thursday."

Three-time champion jockey Ryan Moore will take over from George Baker tomorrow and Noseda is hoping that some rain hits the track.

Irish Independent

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