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Richard Hannon has three possibles for QIPCO 2000 Guineas

24 Apr 2019

Trainer has sprung Classic surprises with Night Of Thunder and Billesdon brook in the past five years.

Billesdon Brook won the QIPCO 1000 Guineas for Hannon last year. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Richard Hannon could have. three runners in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on Saturday week.

Hannon has won with unfancied Guineas contenders twice in his first five years with a training licence and his King Of ChangeUrban Icon and Walkinthesand are all possible challengers in the first race of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

The Hannon trio are among the 31 horses who remain engaged following yesterday’s scratching stage for the £500,000 showpiece

Hannon won the QIPCO 2000 Guineas with 40-1 outsider Night Of Thunder in 2014 and scooped last season’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas with 66-1 shot Billesdon Brook.

King Of Change got off the mark with a two and a half-length win in a conditions race at Nottingham this month; Urban Icon was third in the Greenham; Walkinthesand was involved in a terrific duel before losing out by a neck to Kick On in the Listed Feilden Stakes last week.

“Coming into the QIPCO 2000 Guineas rather under the radar doesn’t bother me at all.,” Hannon said. “King Of Change really impressed us at Nottingham and has always been held in high regard, though running in the Guineas will be a big step up for him.

“Urban Icon came out of the Greenham absolutely fine and if he gets the fast ground that he needs I can see him running a really big race in the Guineas.

“Walkinthesand will improve for his excellent run in the Fielden and dropping him back to a mile won’t be a problem.

“All three will do their final pieces of work at the weekend and we will make a decision afterwards about how many to run.”

Aidan O’Brien has six entries including Ten Sovereigns, successful in the Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes on the Rowley Mile last autumn, and Magna Grecia, who landed last year’s Group 1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

Following yesterday’s scratching stage, the 31 entries for the Group 1 QIPCO 2000 Guineas run over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday, 4th May, are as follows:

Advertise (GB), Almufti (GB), Azano (GB), Calyx (GB), Circus Maximus (IRE), Confiding (GB), Dark Vision (IRE), Duke of Hazzard (FR), Emaraaty Ana (GB), Global Spectrum (GB), Great Scot (GB), Kick On (GB), King of Change (GB), Madhmoon (IRE), Magna Grecia (IRE), Mohaather (GB), Mohawk (IRE), Momkin (IRE), Name The Wind (GB), Phoenix of Spain (IRE), Raakib Alhawa (IRE), Royal Marine (IRE), Set Piece (GB), Shine So Bright (GB), Skardu (GB), Sporting Chance (GB), Ten Sovereigns (IRE), The Irish Rover (IRE), Urban Icon (GB), Van Beethoven (CAN), Walkinthesand (IRE) (31) .