Flat RacingHorse Racing

Richard Hannon: “Ventura Tormenta and Motakhayyel have outstanding chances”

August 8, 2020


3:10 G1 Phoenix Stakes

Ventura Tormenta (Declan McDonagh)

I loved his attitude in the Prix Robert Papin where he stuck his neck out and showed real tenacity to beat The Lir Jet by a short head. The drop back down to 6f obviously did the trick as well and I don’t mind admitting he has absolutely thrived since then. We’re going up to Group One level but from day one he has always shown that he is quite special and we think an awful lot of him. It’s a wide open race but he more than warrants his place in the line up and I think he has an outstanding chance.



12:40 Novice Stakes

Grand Scheme (Rossa Ryan)

He’s a smart colt by Territories who has done everything right at home and is ready for a run. I’ve no doubt he’ll want further in time, as he’s bred for a trip, but this is a good starting point and we’ll know much more after this.

Headshot (John Fahy)

He’s shown quite a bit of pace in his two races so the drop down to six furlongs will help but he needs to step up considerably on both starts to date

Marley Park (Thore Hammer Hansen)

He’s a nice well bred son of Cable Bay who has been away to gallop and worked very well. I think he’ll come on for the run but he’s pretty fit and should hopefully run a decent race.

Fashion (Sean Levey)

She’s a lovely home bred filly by Lope De Vega who has a lovely attitude to her work and has shown plenty at home. She’ll definitely want further in time but she’s ready to go and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her go well.


1:10 Apprentice Handicap

In The Cove (Luke Catton)

I think he found the ground much too quick at Chepstow last time when he was a beaten favourite so I am concerned about the surface again here, but Luke is good value for his 7lbs claim and he should run his race.

Arafi (Thore Hammer Hansen)

She’s still a Maiden but has ran a few decent races which offer encouragement in a contest like this so has an decent shout.


1:40 Conditions Stakes

Anna Nerium (Sean Levey)

She was very unlucky not to finish closer at Goodwood last time where she met plenty of trouble and only got beaten and about three lengths. Hopefully she won’t find any traffic problems in this race, although it could prove tactical with just the four runners, but she’s come out of Goodwood in great shape and is very versatile ground wise so I’m extremely optimistic.


2:15 Handicap

Well Done Fox (Silvestre De Sousa)

I thought he ran a nice race at Goodwood last time when he was fifth and the handicaper has dropped him down a few pounds as well. He’s still got the ability to make his presence felt in a race like this.


2:50 Fillies’ Handicap

Separate (Sean Levey)

She was a very smart two-year-old but has been out of form for quite some time and while this is a smaller field she does look up against a couple of improvers; that said she’s got valuable experience so could be thereabouts.


3:25 G3 Sovereign Stakes

Beat Le Bon (Sean Levey)

We took him out of Goodwood because I think he is much better when the ground is rattling, which he should get here. He badly needed his first run at Ascot so draw a line through that and I think he’s more than entitled to run a massive race.

Motakhayyel (Jim Crowley)

He’s won two very nice handicaps so this seems the next logical step. He won a shade cosily at Newmarket last time and seems to be improving all the time. The step back up to a mile won’t be a problem at all, as he’s already won over it, and he goes on any ground so I see absolutely no chink in his armour and he should be very hard to beat.


4:00 Handicap

Hot Summer (Sean Levey)

I don’t think he got a mile and a quarter at Windsor last time so he’s going back down to his right trip and hopefully he can get his career back on track.



1:00 Maiden Fillies’

Enoughisgoodenough (Rob Hornby)

She’s by Dark Angel and would prefer a bit of cut so I’m a little concerned that the ground might be a bit too quick again but she’s ready to run and we need to get her out and learn what we have. Her work has been very good and I think she’s a nice filly.

Luxy Lou (Sam Hitchcott)

We put her pretty much straight in at the deep end in a very good Maiden at Ascot which will undoubtedly produce plenty of decent winners but this race looks much easier and she will have learnt a lot from that experience so I’d expect her to be a lot sharper this time.


2:05 Nursery

Genuflex (Tom Marquand)

He stayed on very well to finish second at Chepstow last month so the step up to a mile could bring out plenty of improvement. Despite it being a small field, this looks a very close knit race as there’s very little between them but our horse is getting better with each run and he goes there with a big chance.


4:55 Handicap

Grinling (Tom Marquand)

There’s no reason, at the weights, why he should reverse form with Buriram on their run over course and distance last time but only to say that our horse will be much more comfortable on this quicker ground which could be enough to swing things in our favour. He’s a colt who’s improved from two to three and he’s in there with a great shout under ideal going conditions.



12:50 Novice

Riffaa Wonder (David Allen)

Things didn’t go at all right for him on debut at Goodwood when he took a bad step just leaving the stalls then got trapped wide and was much too keen in the race so I’m prepared to draw a line through that and move on. He’s a horse we’ve always liked and to be honest we fancied him to go very close at Goodwood, so I’d be reasonably confident he can put that run behind him and get the job done here.


3:35 Nursery

Cuban Cigar (Danny Tudhope)

He is yet to show anything meaningful in three runs to date and there is no reason for me to make a particularly strong case for him except to say he’s in nursery company for the first time which may aid his cause. The annoying thing is, he does actually have ability but is yet to show it on the track.


4:10 Conditions

Qaysar (Danny Tudhope)

He is an absolute star and owes his owners nothing. The good thing about him is that he rarely runs a bad race and seems to handle any type of ground which makes my job much easier! His form is there for all to see, he’s clear on ratings so is arguably the one to beat and you’d have to fancy him in his current form.


4:45 Novice

Dewey Road (Andrea Atzeni)

He’s a bit of a character and can be extremely keen at home so 5f on a sharp track like this might actually suit him and it will be very interesting to see what he shows when the pedal is put to the metal.