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Richard Hannon has typically strong hand in Super Sprint

Updated: Friday, 19 Jul 2013 18:18 | Comments

Richard Hannon has landed the Weatherbys Super Sprint on seven occasions
Richard Hannon has landed the Weatherbys Super Sprint on seven occasions

Richard Hannon has pinpointed Lilbourne Lass as his leading chance of an eighth victory in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday.

The Herridge handler has dominated the race since its inception in 1991, with subsequent Group One winner Lyric Fantasy arguably his most notable winner back in 1992.

Hannon has not triumphed since sending out Monsieur Chevalier in 2009 and he has three chances this time, headed by dual Bath winner Lilbourne Lass, who will be ridden by Jimmy Quinn as stable jockey Richard Hughes cannot make her low weight.

"Off 8st 1lb, Lilbourne Lass would look to be the one, and, though she is drawn one, both If Paradise (2003) and Lady Livius (2005) were able to win this race for us from that stall," he told www.richardhannonracing.com.

"We have purposely kept Lilbourne Lass fresh for this race, avoiding penalties, and, though she can be tricky at the gate, Gary Witheford (stalls expert) will be going down to the start with her, so hopefully all will be OK."

Biography, who was beaten in a Salisbury conditions event last time, is the only horse high enough in the weights for Hughes to ride, while Harry Bentley will be on Bird Of Light, winner of her only start to date.

Hannon said: "Biography is the only one that Hughesie could have ridden. He is very much like his grand-sire, Bold Edge, who was all speed, and he will appreciate returning to five (furlongs), having won over that trip at Sandown before finishing fourth over six at Salisbury.

"Both Biography (23) and Bird Of Light (21) will have to race towards the stands side, so we have the wings covered.

"Bird Of Light is a sharp filly who has won her only race and also has a handy weight (8st 5lb), and she is another who we shortlisted for this race quite early on."

Royston Ffrench will also have to ride light aboard the Bryan Smart-trained Lexington Rose, who is saddled with 8st 1lb.

She will be having her sixth career start here and has already beaten the reopposing Memory Styx and Proclamationofwar this term.

Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing said: "She's a filly on a low weight, who is in form and is all speed. She was second in the Hilary Needler at Beverley, then she won a conditions race.

"She's got 8st 1lb, Royston Ffrench is doing his best to do the weight and has promised us he will. Fast ground is perfect for her and she likes flat tracks.

"She goes there with a chance but I'm scared of Lilbourne Lass. If we're in the first four I'd be delighted."

Richard Fahey sends five runners from his Musley Bank base in Yorkshire, headed by Peniaphobia, the mount of former champion jockey Paul Hanagan.

The Dandy Man colt has won two of his three starts and is the most experienced of Fahey's quartet.

"He looks the best of ours as his form is rock solid and he's improving along the whole time, but I wouldn't like to put money on him finishing ahead of the others," he said.

"We've a few nice ones in there who've only had the one run and you wouldn't know how much they'll improve, so we'll see.

"It's nice to be firing a few bullets at big money."

Fahey also has Eccleston, who finished last in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, along with Khalice and once-raced maidens Foxy Clarets and Gym Shoes.

He said: "Foxy Clarets has come on a ton for his first run at Newcastle and we think he's quite smart, so we're keen to let him take his chance.

"Gym Shoes only ran the other day and we're turning him out fairly quickly, but I think he's better than 100-1 shot. He's quite nice.

"Eccleston was a disappointing at Ascot, but he's a good horse. The ground might just be a little bit quick for him.

"Khalice disappointed last time but if she came back to form she'd have a bit of a chance."

Weisse Socken shed her maiden tag at the fourth time of asking at Chester last week and trainer Ralph Beckett turns her out again quickly in this £250,000 prize.

"She's going there in form and we're very happy with her," he said.

"She has to carry a few pounds, but she will like the fast ground, so we'll see how it goes."

Alutiq is another who brings Royal Ascot form to the table having finished a close-up seventh in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Previously a winner at Kempton and Newbury, she was only beaten four and a half lengths by Rizeena, faring best of those that raced towards the stands side.

She is saddled with just 8st and trainer Eve Johnston Houghton feels she must have a live chance of success.

"I think she was just drawn on the wrong side at Ascot but she still ran a really good race and the form of that seems to be working out really well," she said.

"I think she's got a great chance but as we all know in these big races, there can be some hard-luck stories but hopefully she will have a bit of luck on her side.

"Cathy Gannon rides as she's off 8st. She hasn't been down to sit on her but she is the most straightforward filly and takes it all in her stride."

The Paul Cole-trained Meritocracy tops the weights for the five-furlong contest and has already won twice in six starts this year.

However, Peniaphobia dished out a three-length beating at Pontefract back in May.

"Meritocracy runs at Newbury this weekend in the Super Sprint, the horse is in good form and we are hoping for an exciting race," read a statement posted on www.paulcole.co.uk.

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