Hannon targets Newbury’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

Richard Hannon, champion trainer in 2014 in his first season, hopes to land the Group One Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes for the second year running on Saturday, May 16.Hannon Press Morning

He captured the mile Newbury race, which has prize money boosted by almost 75% this year to £350,000, with Olympic Glory in 2014 and is aiming Night Of Thunder (pictured far right), Toormore (pictured far left) and Shifting Power (pictured in the middle) at this year’s renewal.

At a media morning organised by Newbury Racecourse at his Herridge yard in Wiltshire, Hannon worked all three horses.

He said today: “They are three good ones. I am very pleased with them – they have all done well since last year.

“Night Of Thunder and Toormore are definites for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes and Shifting Power has a 75% to 80% chance of running in it as well.”

For full comments on each horse by the trainer, please see below.


Richard Hannon’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes contenders


Night Of Thunder (IRE)

4 ch c Dubawi (IRE) – Forest Storm (Galileo (IRE))

Owner: Godolphin

Breeder: Frank Dunne

Form: 11/212832-

Win & Place Prize Money: £650,389


Richard Hannon said today: “Night Of Thunder was my first Classic winner and he appears to have retained all his ability and we are very, very pleased with him. He worked well this morning and the Al Shaqab Lockinge has always been the plan for him.

“We got Olympic Glory pretty straight for the race last year and Night Of Thunder is the very same. He will take a lot of beating in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

“I think the Greenham came just too early for him last year which is why he did not show his class when he was beaten soundly by Kingman. The fact that the Al Shaqab Lockinge comes about a month after the trials is the right time for him this year.

“A lot of the milers from last year have retired or gone by the wayside and hopefully Night Of Thunder will have improved. The ground is no problem for him – he acts on all sorts of going and copes with soft ground better than most horses and goes on fast ground as well. Ideally, it will be good ground at Newbury on May 16.

“I think we will have him pretty fit for the Al Shaqab Lockinge. We can only plan as far as Royal Ascot with both Night Of Thunder and Toormore. Both will go for the Al Shaqab Lockinge and then the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. There is a terrific programme of European mile races during the season.

“Night Of Thunder and Shifting Power live down at Everleigh – we are two yards – and they are technically having an away day this morning. We boxed them up here.

“Night Of Thunder could stay a mile and a quarter but if he is winning Group Ones over a mile then I cannot see the need to change the distance. He settles very well and that might help him to get further if we wanted to.”

* Enjoyed finest hour when springing 40/1 shock in 2014 QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, defeating Kingman by half a length.

* Subsequently chased home that same rival in St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing the two and a quarter length runner-up.

* Finished out of first three for only time in his career when stepped up in distance for 10-furlong Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park, in which he came eighth.

* Rounded off 2014 with two more placed efforts in Group One company over a mile, taking third in the Qatar Prix du Moulin at Longchamp and runner-up in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO at Ascot, beaten a half-length by Charm Spirit both times.

* Has made one previous visit to Newbury, finishing second to Kingman in 2014 Group Three Aon Greenham Stakes over seven furlongs in April.


Shifting Power (IRE)

4 ch c Compton Place – Profit Alert (IRE) (Alzao)

Owner: Elaine Chivers & Potensis Bloodstock Ltd

Breeder: John & Susan Davis

Form: 11/14225-

Win & Place Prize Money: £178,180

Richard Hannon said: “Shifting Power goes to Sandown on Friday for the Group Two race and he will run very well.

“He was just below top-class last year – probably by about 3lb – he was second in two Group Ones, to Kingman in the Irish Guineas and to Charm Spirit in the Prix Jean Prat.

“He is a horse I love – a big sort who has now filled into his frame – and I hope he has improved 3lb to win a Group One. He has loads and loads of ability but last year just lacked that gear.

“There is a nine-furlong Group One in Paris a week after the Al Shaqab Lockinge, though I am somewhat doubtful about 10 furlongs.

“Shifting Power is a possible for the Shaqab Lockinge, while the other two are definite runners.”

* Fourth to Night Of Thunder in 2014 QIPCO 2000 Guineas.

* Progressed to finish runner-up twice in Group One company over a mile, chasing home Kingman in Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh and Charm Spirit in Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly.

* Last seen out when fifth in mile Group Three Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood in August.

* Won both starts as a juvenile and took Listed European Free Handicap at Newmarket on three-year-old debut.

* Entered in Group Two bet365 Mile at Sandown Park on Friday.


Toormore (IRE)

4 b c Arakan (USA) – Danetime Out (IRE) (Danetime (IRE))

Owner: Middleham Park Racing IX & James Pak

Breeder: BEC Bloodstock

Form: 111/176233-

Win & Place Prize Money: £380,200

Richard Hannon said: “Toormore was an extremely good two-year-old. He then lost his way a bit before finding his form again at the end of last season when he was very unlucky in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

“He looks to have retained that form – he is working very well and moves very well. We toyed with the idea of prepping him in the Group Two at Sandown on Friday, which Shifting Power is going for, but decided to leave him for the Al Shaqab Lockinge.

“He will go the same route as Night Of Thunder for his first two races – the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes and then the Queen Anne. We will then find out what is what with Toormore and Night Of Thunder. Hopefully, we will be able to separate them for the rest of the year.

“Toormore and Night Of Thunder are gentlemen to deal with, very simple and no problems. Toormore goes well when fresh and that will be to his advantage in the Al Shaqab Lockinge.”

* Undefeated in three starts as a juvenile in 2013 when Europe’s champion two-year-old, headlined by impressive victory in Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

* Began 2014 by taking Group Three Craven Stakes at Newmarket but disappointed slightly on next two starts when seventh in QIPCO 2000 Guineas and sixth in St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

* Showed signs of a return to form when placed in Group Two contests at Goodwood and Veliefendi, Turkey.

* Ended 2014 with fast-finishing third on heavy ground in Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by QIPCO at Ascot in October.

Richard Hannon


Born: November 21, 1975

Background: Son of four-time British champion trainer Richard Hannon snr, who commenced training at the age of 25 in 1970 on the retirement of his father Henry (Harry) and started out with 12 horses at East Everleigh in Wiltshire. The present two-yard training set-up also comprises the main base of Herridge, a former stud farm bought in 1991. Richard Hannon snr, married to Jo, is still heavily involved.

Richard jnr has a twin brother Henry and a twin sister Lizzie, who is married to stable jockey Richard Hughes, plus three other sisters – Fanny (who is married to trainer Sylvester Kirk), Claire and Julie.

Had a spell working at leading studs and stables in Australia before spending 12 years as assistant to his father.
He took over the licence on January 1, 2014 and sent out his first winner two days later when Unscripted captured a Wolverhampton maiden.

He enjoyed a tremendous first season in 2014, being crowned champion trainer in Britain with 206 winners and £4,749,470 in prize money. He scooped a Classic victory with Night Of Thunder in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas and won four Group One races, including Newbury’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with Olympic Glory.

One of seven trainers to run the 2014 London Marathon in support of Racing Welfare.

He is married to Jemima and has two children, Eliza and Jack.

British Classics wins (1): QIPCO 2000 Guineas (2014 Night Of Thunder)

Other big-race wins include: Queen Anne Stakes (2014 Toronado), Lockinge Stakes (2014 Olympic Glory), Cheveley Park Stakes (2014 Tiggy Wiggy), Champagne Stakes (2014 Estidhkaar), Flying Childers Stakes (2014 Beacon), Lowther Stakes (2014 Tiggy Wiggy), Richmond Stakes (2014 Ivawood), Prix Robert Papin (2014 Kool Kompany), Weatherbys Super Sprint (2014 Tiggy Wiggy), Superlative Stakes (2014 Estidhkaar), July Stakes (2014 Ivawood), Norfolk Stakes (2014 Baitha Alga)


The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes

Group 1, £350,000 total prize fund. One mile, Newbury, Saturday, May 16, 2015. For four-year-olds and upwards. Weights: colts and geldings 9st, fillies & mares 8st 11lb. Entries closed March 31, entries revealed April 1 (36 entries), scratchings deadline April 28, five-day confirmations & £16,000 entry stage May 11, final declarations May 14. Maximum field 20.



Owner Trainer


Hamdan Al Maktoum Roger Varian


Qatar Racing Limited Peter Chapple-Hyam


Wertheimer et Frere Carlos Laffon-Parias FR


Godolphin Charlie Appleby


John Cook David Simcock


Julie Martin & David Martin & Partner Charles Hills


Perry Martin & Steve Coburn Art Sherman USA


The Earl Cadogan Henry Candy


Seasons Holidays Roger Charlton


Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/Sue Magnier/AnneMarie O’Brien Aidan O’Brien IRE


Gary Douglas & Pat Breslin David O’Meara


Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier Aidan O’Brien IRE


Al Shaqab Racing Elie Lellouche FR


Hamdan Al Maktoum Roger Varian


Newtown Anner Stud Farm Dermot Weld IRE


The Royal Ascot Racing Club William Haggas


Fitri Hay Andrew Balding


Chris van Hoorn James Fanshawe


Cheveley Park Stud Sir Michael Stoute


Niarchos Family Jonathan Pease FR


Links Partnership/Cheveley Park Stud Rod Millman


Niarchos Family Jonathan Pease FR


Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum Marco Botti


Al Shaqab Racing Todd Pletcher USA


Hamdan Al Maktoum William Haggas


Godolphin Richard Hannon


Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor Aidan O’Brien IRE


A de Ganay/C Baillet/G Pariente Nicolas Clement FR


Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum Clive Brittain


Elaine Chivers & Potensis B’stock Ltd Richard Hannon


Susan Roy Jeremy Noseda


Middleham Park Racing IX & James Pak Richard Hannon


Keith Brown Brian Ellison


Qatar Racing Limited David Simcock


Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds VI Andrew Balding


Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar William Haggas

36 entries

5 French-trained

4 Irish-trained

2 US-trained 

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, staged at Newbury on Al Shaqab Lockinge Day, Saturday, May 16 and run over a straight mile on turf, is the early season European highlight for older milers and boasts a much-improved prize fund in 2015 of £350,000, almost 75 per cent up on last year’s £200,000.

Exciting international entries are headlined by America’s 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome (Art Sherman). The four-year-old won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes impressively last year, though he failed in his bid for the US Triple Crown when going down by two lengths to Tonalist in the Belmont Stakes over a mile and a half.

California Chrome subsequently finished third in the 10-furlong Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita and made his first start of 2015 when runner-up to Prince Bishop in the Dubai World Cup, also over 10 furlongs on dirt, at Meydan on March 28.

He won on his only appearance on turf, capturing the Grade One Hollywood Derby over nine furlongs at Del Mar in November and is set to make his European debut in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes if all goes to plan.

The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is the likely starting point for last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Karakontie (Jonathan Pease), who is owned by the Niarchos Family. The four-year-old, who also enjoyed Classic success in the French 2,000 Guineas, is one of five French-trained contenders for the Newbury race.

The French-trained contenders for the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes are completed by Group One winner Ectot (Elie Lellouche), last season’s French 2,000 Guineas runner-up Prestige Vendome (Nicholas Clement) and high-class filly Bawina (Carlos Laffon-Parias).

Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien gained victory in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes with the impressive Hawk Wing in 2003 and has entered last season’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes runner-up Due Diligence.

Other high-profile entries include Integral (Sir Michael Stoute) and Rizeena (Clive Brittain), who are both dual Grade One winners.

Britain’s champion trainer Richard Hannon sent out Olympic Glory to claim the spoils last year in his first season with a training licence and is likely to run last year’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas victor Night Of Thunder and Toormore, who was Europe’s champion two-year-old in 2013, while he has also entered Shifting Power.