RICHARD HANNON is beginning to look serious in his bid to reclaim his Goodwood crown.
The man who was the track’s top trainer every year from 2008 to 2011 lost the Dick Hern Trophy to Mark Johnston last year.
But he is joint top of the Goodwood standings for this season – and already three clear of Johnston.
What’s more, we’re starting to see a number of Hannon runners who could easily be unleashed at Glorious Goodwood.
The latest to fall into that category is Wahaab, a winner under Paul Hanagan at the opening Three Friday Nights card of 2013.
The two-year-old son of Tamayuz, who went off 8/15 favourite, eased clear to claim a comfortable victory ahead of Jazz in the six-furlong British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes.
It was Hannon’s fifth win in the past six renewals of the race and fired hopes of a tilt at the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Three-time champion trainer Hannon landed the Group 2 Coventry with Canford Cliffs in 2009 and Strong Suit in 2010.
And for Hannon horses, good showings in the Ascot race often has them beating a path to Glorious.
He said: “Wahaab is pretty good and so was his mother (Indian Ink). He was roaring his head off in the paddock, so that race would have done him good. I’ll have to talk to Sheikh Hamdan (Al Maktoum, owner) and Angus Gold (owner’s racing manager).
“But if he comes along at home he could go for the Coventry.”
Hannon may not have things all his own way in the Dick Hern Trophy battle, though.
Level with him on four Goodwood wins for the season is Sir Michael Stoute, whose latest success also came last Friday when Ryan Moore partnered Integral (4/1) to a powerful success in the Yacht Week Maiden Fillies Stakes.
And while two of flat racing’s famous names do battle in the top-trainer stakes, another is streaking ahead at the top of the jockey chart.
Kieren Fallon notched a back-to-back double – his fourth and fifth wins on the Downs this season following his opening-day treble.
He enjoyed a 14/1 triumph on Links Drive Lady for handler Dean Ivory.
The five-year-old is owned by the aptly-named syndicate It’s Your Lucky Day.
And Fallon repeated the feat in the next, the Rudimental Stakes, on the 13/8 favourite Stock Hill Fair, trained in Hampshire by Brendan Powell, with a three-and-a-quarter length win.