Horse racing Richard Hannon

Hannon Believes Neverland Can Rock Goodwood

12 months ago

Frankie Dettori is back in action on day three of Glorious Goodwood on Thursday and trainer Richard Hannon believes his Neverland Rock should go well under the former champion in the Group 2 Qatar Richmond Stakes (3.00).

Nine runners are set to face the starter in this prestigious juvenile six furlong contest that carries a hefty £200,000 in prize money. On paper it’s one of the most open renewals for some years with bookmakers making Aidan O’Brien’s listed Tipperary winner Land Force a marginal 9/2 market leader just ahead of Koncheck, Marie’s Diamond and Sabre, who all have solid form in pattern race company and are available at 5/1.

Richard Hannon, who won the race with Ivawood in 2014 and Mehmas in 2016, has always had a high opinion of his Newmarket novice stakes winner Neverland Rock – a son of lightning fast US sprinter No Nay Never –  who was outpointed, but not disgraced when third over seven furlongs last time out back at HQ in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes 19 days ago. He is currently a top priced 7/1 with Paddy Power.

“When I was asked last week what my best chance of a winner was I was very quick to nominate this horse,” Hannon told reporters on Wednesday. “He won at Newmarket two starts ago and then probably didn’t quite get the trip last time, so the drop back to six furlongs will be in his favour and I really fancy his chances. He’s a very talented colt who could still be anything.”

On what might be a big day for the East Everleigh-based trainer, his Qipco 1000 Guineas winner Billesdon Brook (9/1 with BetBright) returns to the scene of two of her victories last term and bids to get her season back on track in the feature Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes (3.35). The shock 66/1 HQ scorer was fourth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last time but is expected to go well on her first attempt at 10 furlongs and with Tom Marquand taking over from her regular rider Sean Levey.

Paul Alster

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.