RACING: Hannon has Toormore ready

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Richard Hannon junior (right) Richard Hannon junior (right)

WILTSHIRE trainer Richard Hannon feels he has Toormore as ready as he can be for the Novae Bloodstock Insurance Craven Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday week.

The champion juvenile, owned by Middleham Park Racing, has completed his major home-work ahead of his first big test of the season.

Should all go to plan at Newmarket, Toormore will return to the headquarters of British Flat racing for the Qipco 2000 Guineas on May 3.

Hannon, whose racing operation is based at Everleigh and Herridge, said: "Toormore had a spin on at Kempton last Monday and needs a prep. It makes more sense to go to the course he will be running on in the Guineas.

"He'll carry a big penalty, but he'll need to win the Craven with a penalty to run in the Guineas.

"Anjaal (fourth in the Dewhurst) also goes for the Craven."

Toormore was unbeaten in three starts as a juvenile and signed off with a comprehensive success in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh last September.

He is not the only leading Classic hope for the Hannon operation, with the well-regarded Night Of Thunder also holding an unblemished record and set to contest what looks like being a red-hot Aon Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday, where Kingman and Berkshire also feature.

Hannon said: "Night Of Thunder goes for the Greenham. He likes soft ground and will go well."

Meanwhile, Sky Lantern is likely to swerve the JLT Lockinge Stakes and start her four-year-old campaign in the Windsor Forest Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The multiple Group One-winning filly claimed the Qipco 1000 Guineas, Coronation Stakes and King of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes during a magnificent 2013, although it ended on something of a downbeat note when she was last of 14 in Hong Kong in December, being eased when her chance had gone.

Trainer Hannon said: "Sky Lantern is in good form and cantering away.

"She's in the Lockinge, but we'll probably give that a miss and go straight for the Windsor Forest."

The daughter of Red Clubs also struck Group One gold in her juvenile year, winning the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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