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Hannon Jnr keeps up family tradition at Salisbury
THE legend 'winner trained by R Hannon, East Everleigh,' is well documented at Salisbury but now Tiggy Wiggy has given it an extra dimension.
Her comfortable victory represented the first success at the track for Richard the Second after taking over from Richard the First in the New Year.
The two-year-old, owned by connections more renowned with National Hunt stars Silviniaco Conti and Zarkandar, cemented her burgeoning reputation to justify her entries at Royal Ascot where she will probably contest the Queen Mary Stakes, although the Albany Stakes is a potential alternative.
With Hannon jnr supervising runners at Newmarket where on Saturday his Night of Thunder confounded the formbook in the 2,000 Guineas, it was left to Hannon snr to speak of plans.
"She wants better ground. It wasn't her ground today but she didn't have a hard race. She's a real pro."
The yard's juvenile juggernaut has yet to really roll this season. "They have been backward and are still not in their coat," he explained.
Also Ascot bound is the progressive Back Schnapps who won his second race in nine days in the 10 furlong handicap, leaving trainer Willie Muir wondering what the handicapper will make of his five length stroll.
"A step up in trip," was his explanation for the improved form of the three-year-old who was beaten in her last race as a juvenile in a lowly Wolverhampton maiden by subsequent UAE Derby winner Toast of New York.
"We wouldn't have beaten him but he returned home with a real snotty horse. He's bolted up today but it's possible others might have got stuck in the ground. I won't rush him into another race and whatever the handicapper does, we'll have to take it on the chin," said Muir who is eyeing the King George Handicap at the Royal meeting.
However the training performance of the afternoon - if not the season - was provided by Andrew Balding who produced Whiplash Willie to defy top weight in the City Bowl Handicap after a near 1,000 day absence.
The classy individual, who won two races at Salisbury before finishing runner-up in the highly competitive Melrose Stakes at York in 2011, had been sidelined by a tendon injury. "To have won first time out and in this historic race is absolutely great," enthused father Ian. "What a star."
Owner jim Hitchins was fulsome in praise for his trainer. "Andrew has done a fantastic job with him. We'll just have to see what happens but he's entered in the Ascot Hold Cup."
Ed Walker, brought up near Balding's Kingsclere yard, saddled a winner with his first runner at Salisbury with Lightning Moon who was bought at a breeze-up sale.
"He's big scopey horse and we couldn't get him on a racecourse last year but he has shown a bit at home. We just about got away with it today, he needs better ground, and he will certainly come on for this."
The heavily backed Tea Leaf was driven out to land the seven furlong fillies handicap for in form local trainer Ralph Beckett. "She needs soft ground and we might have another day with her if we are lucky."
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