Delight for Richard Hannon as 16/1 Ginger Nut proves tough in Newbury's Super Sprint
.Marlborough trainer Richard Hannon enjoyed a tremendous Weatherbys Super Sprint Day at Newbury on Saturday (July 21), as he recorded a big-race double with Ginger Nut and Yafta
(Though always listed as based in Marlborough, the Hannon stables are at Herridge and Everleigh - near Collingbourne Ducis.)
A sell-out crowd of 20,000 was on hand to see the seven-race card, with acclaimed singer-songwriter Craig David delighting racegoers after racing as part of the first 'Party In The Paddock' of Newbury's 2018 season.
Hannon's father Richard Senior became synonymous with the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint thanks to his record seven wins in the feature five-furlong contest for two-year-olds. Now Hannon Junior has gained his second victory in the unique race which favours cheaper horses, with 16/1 chance Ginger Nut, who was backed in from 25/1 and emerged from stall 19.
The Sir Prancealot filly, part-owned by Hannon alongside long-standing patrons Chris and Jenny Powell, was held up towards the rear of the maximum 25 runners by Harry Bentley and ran on strongly between runners to take the lead entering the final half-furlong.
Ginger Nut, who cost £23,000 as a yearling and so received a low weight for the race, ran on well to beat 50/1 outsider Moojim (Bryan Smart/Graham Lee) by a neck, with 9/2 joint-favourite Kinks (Mick Channon/Joe Fanning) finishing a half-length back in third after a troubled passage.
As Hannon explained after the race, Ginger Nut was a bit of a disappointment on her first outings: "She went off a little bit too quick, but we tucked her in today."
"This was the plan from the moment we bought her. She didn't have an owner, so Chris and Jenny came in and I said that she would be an ideal filly for the Weatherbys Super Sprint."
"I said that I would probably have a quarter-share and, the next thing I knew, Chris had put me down for a half-share, so it has backfired big-time on him!"
"It's great for Chris and Jenny, who are big supporters of ours and have horses with a lot of trainers. They are good investors and good people, which is what this race is all about. They have had their payday with a lovely, fast filly and it has all gone well."
Hannon's ultra-consistent three-year-old Yafta (7/1) came out on top in a thrilling finish to the day's big sprint, the £60,000 G3 bet365 Hackwood Stakes over six furlongs.
The Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned grey colt, by Dark Angel and drawn one of the 10 participants, settled behind the leaders and ran on strongly to hit the front entering the final furlong before gamely seeing off the late challenge of 11/4 favourite Projection (Roger Charlton/Harry Bentley) for victory by a head.
Stratum stormed to victory in the first running of the £100,000 JLT Cup (2.25pm) with 16 runners. The 11/4 market leader, trained by Ireland's champion Jump trainer by Willie Mullins, travelled strongly throughout the extended two-mile contest in a first-time hood and never looked in danger after taking up the running over a furlong from home, going on to win by three lengths under Robert Winston.
Ginger Nut takes the £250,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint under Harry Bentley