RACING: Hannon's big two come into prime for Royal Ascot

Collingbourne Ducis trainer Richard Hannon

Collingbourne Ducis trainer Richard Hannon

First published in Sport

COLLINGBOURNE Ducis trainer Hannon's big guns are nearing their return to action at Royal Ascot with Toronado and Sky Lantern coming to the boil nicely.

Toronado has not been seen since August when he failed to stay 10 furlongs in the Juddmonte International at York but previously he had beaten Dawn Approach in the Sussex Stakes, after being touched off by that same rival in the St James's Palace Stakes.

Sky Lantern won the 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and Sun Chariot in a stellar campaign last summer but trailed in last when taken over to Sha Tin for the Hong Kong Mile.

"Toronado went to Newbury the other day and worked very well, he's on target for the Queen Anne," Hannon, who has bases at Everleigh and Herridge, told At The Races.

"He's always been a horse that excites. Trainer, owner, jockey, gallop watcher, whatever you are if he doesn't get your blood up then it's pretty sure nothing else will.

"Sky Lantern is in the Queen Anne and Windsor Forest (Duke of Cambridge). They worked separately and she worked very well, I was very pleased with her.

"She needs to be taken away as she gets very fat, that was the reason we managed to get her beat in a trial last year. She's actually heavier than Toronado would you believe and he's massive.

"She'd need a couple more bits yet, but she's in good form."

One unlikely to be part of the team, however, is Lockinge winner Olympic Glory who was beaten when stepped up in trip for the Prix d'Ispahan behind Cirrus Des Aigles a few days after his Newbury triumph..

"I would say Olympic Glory didn't stay in France, if he'd stayed he should have been second. I don't think the race came too quickly, he's able to deal with that as physically he's very strong and mentally he's very strong as well," said Hannon.

"He's run good races round there, he's won a Grade One there, but he couldn't have stayed.

"We've left him in the Queen Anne but it's more than likely that if Toronado goes there he'll go for the Jacques le Marois."


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