Richard Hannon charity open day draws a large crowd - a chance to see behind the scenes & check out some star horses
Twenty of Marlborough trainer Richard Hannon's equine stars - including some probable future stars - were on show for the Herridge Racing Stables open day (September 1). And there was a good crowd there hear Richard Hannon's commentary on the horses and to see them put through their paces.
The open day was being held to raise funds for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and for the Greatwood Charity at Clench Common which uses retired racehorses to help disadvantaged children and young adults with special educational needs.
It was of course primarily a chance to see behind the scenes of the leading trainer and Unibet ambassador's stables. But on a fine Sunday morning there was plenty else to do.
Children were entertained by 'Sharky and George', and adults could meet and question jockeys - including stable jockey Sean Levey, ex-jockey Timmy Murphy and several others.
Premier League footballer Charlie Austin was there to talk about the new season. And there were refreshments and eats galore - not to mention a shop selling all sorts of Hannon logo'd goods.
Sean Levey thought that his mount Ziggle Pops might be a good bet for that afternoon's racing at Brighton. And lo and behold he was as good as his tip.
Starting as favourite, the two-year-old colt Ziggle Pops won Brighton's New BMW X5 Novice Stakes over seven furlongs by a 'comfortable five lengths'. It was his fourth race.
He almost certainly travelled there in Richard Hannon's new and mammoth horse-box. It can take nine horses in comfortable compartments and is, one of the stable drivers said, 'a dream to drive.' Richard Hannon told the crowd it was rather like a yacht - they were left to guess the basis for that comparison!
Having seen the twenty-strong string of star horses in the warm-up ring, the crowd moved over to watch them come up the gallop. Leading them off was Oh This Is Us - the yard's first Dubai winner.
He is a six-year-old horse who the day before had won an exciting race at Chester. He took the Sportpesa Handicap by half-a-length from the 33-1 chance Alemarartalyoum. The £28,000 prize money took his earnings to date to £607, 632.
Also on the gallop was Mums Tipple - winner of the £300,000 Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes at York by a remarkable eleven lengths. The notes for visitors about Mums Tipple said rather calmly: "Possible star of the future."
Another 'potential star in the making' is the two-year-old colt Threat. He has raced four times and won two and come second in two. Owned by the Cheveley Park Stud, he added York's Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (August 23) - taking his earnings to £127,597..
And that's just three of the twenty horses that looked bright and alert - enjoying the sunny Sunday morning. Just as the visitors were doing.