Richard Hannon ready to lead charge for Champions Day with Barney Roy

first_imgHorse racing Reuse this content Topics … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share on Twitter news Horse racing tips Fortunately for the trainer he can go to Flat racing’s end-of-term show on Saturday with a live chance thanks to the classy Barney Roy, a winner at Royal Ascot in June and now 5-1 third-favourite for the Qipco Champion Stakes. “He is the horse your year is judged on. You can have 600 winners, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have those Group winners or a Group One horse, then you’re not taking part in races on Champions Day.”All but unknown at the start of the year, Barney Roy came within inches of landing a second top-class prize in the summer, when pipped by Ulysses in the Eclipse. He has earned his berth in the biggest of 200 boxes at Hannon’s yard here in Wiltshire, which the trainer describes as “the honeymoon suite. Two boxes knocked together, with Sky and a mini-bar.“He’ll go to Ascot in great nick having had a break. He’s fresh, he’s a very exciting horse. Ride him a little bit differently and anything can happen.”That difference is necessary because Hannon feels his colt got caught in a scrap too early in his most recent race, at York in August, and helped set up another success for Ulysses, who had raced with more restraint. Barney Roy’s recent work has been aimed at helping him to settle off the pace and his trainer seems satisfied that it has paid off.Hannon exudes something like relief now he has another star on the premises. Memories have started to fade of the brilliant animals that helped launch his career, such as Toronado, Olympic Glory and Sky Lantern. Barney Roy keeps his trainer in the news and helps him continue moving the stable away from its former modus operandi, established by his father, of stockpiling precocious juveniles. Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Talking Horses: Relishing a star-filled Champions Day plus Tuesday tipscenter_img “Invariably those quick, sharp two-year-olds, their season is over by July. So you’re looking for those classier horses over a mile, maybe even a mile and a quarter. They’re worth more, they earn more and there’s much more longevity in them as racing prospects. A lot of these sharp two-year-olds, June, July, it’s finished, they’re badly handicapped and you end up longing for the end of the year to come, whereas now the year is stretching out nicely, we’ve still got some nice two-year-olds to run,” he said.Richard Hannon Sr, now four years into semi-retirement, is still involved and turns up in the office most days at 6.30am, his son reports. “And he has a Saturday club, all his mates come up and they sit in there from about half 10, have a drink and whinge about everything in racing, what idiots we all are. He loves it still.“A lot of people, they come up to me now and they go: ‘How’s your dad?’” adds Hannon Jr, putting on a voice of cloying sympathy. “Like he’s sitting in the corner, dribbling in a chair. He’s absolutely bouncing. He is flying, believe me. He’ll be there on Saturday, hopefully.”Wednesday’s tips, by Chris CookNottingham1.30 Msayyan 2.00 Imaginative 2.30 Hadith 3.05 Polar Light (nap) 3.35 Jupiter Light (nb) 4.05 Satisfy 4.40 African Friend 5.15 WotadollLingfield1.50 Puchita 2.20 Baileys Excel 2.55 Yabass 3.25 Dashing Poet 3.55 Stylish Dancer 4.30 Monteamiata 5.05 Logi 5.35 ClementoWetherby2.10 Amadeus Rox 2.45 Minella Aris 3.15 Alfiboy 3.45 Monbeg River 4.20 No Planning 4.55 Little Pop 5.25 UtilityKempton5.45 Cove Beach 6.15 Lady Joanna Vassa 6.45 Fille De Reve 7.15 Beautiful Artist 7.45 Last Voyage 8.15 First Dance 8.45 Soghan 9.15 Chough Read more Read more Share on Pinterest Share via Email Share on LinkedIn If there were any doubt about how much the souped-up Ascot version of Champions Day has come to mean to racing professionals, Richard Hannon killed it stone dead here by raising the memory of last year, when he had no runner on the card. “I went racing anyway and walked round like this with my head down for the whole day. I thought: ‘I hope no one sees me here and asks me what I’m running.’“I basically just went for lunch and it was a little bit embarrassing. But it’s the way it should be; runners on that day should be very special and it should be about the top, top-class horses. If I didn’t have a runner, I’d still be there to watch the race. It will be fantastic, even more fantastic if we win it.” Since you’re here… Share on Facebook The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coveragelast_img read more