Baby Paco to be 'hard to beat'
Last Updated: 28/07/14 12:56pm
Beacon beats Mukhmal on their last meeting at Sandown.
View from connections ahead of the bet365 Molecomb Stakes on the opening day of the Glorious Goodwood meeting.
Beacon bids to get the Richard Hannon yard off to another flying start at Glorious Goodwood as he heads a strong two-year-old challenge in Tuesday's Bet365 Molecomb Stakes.
The Group Three sprint was won by Hannon's father three times in the previous five renewals through Monsieur Chevalier, Zebedee and 12 months ago when Brown Sugar just held off his better-fancied stable companion Anticipated.
Beacon did not go to Royal Ascot, staying lower-key at Bath and Salisbury, but would have the beating of both Mukhmal and Union Rose on the result of the Dragon Stakes at Sandown, where the Highclere-owned colt won by a handy four lengths.
Julie Wood's Dougal had looked progressive in his first three starts but was blown away by another of Hannon's classy sorts, Ivawood, in the July Stakes at Newmarket.
Spirit Of Xian completes the trio, having failed to really build on a debut Newmarket win in subsequent stakes races at Naas and Chantilly.
"We call Beacon 'Baby Paco' as he is the spitting image of Paco Boy," said Hannon.
"He has been impressive in winning his last three races and, though he will stay six furlongs, he has the speed to hang on in there over this fast five, and he'll be hard to beat."
Of his other pair, the trainer told www.richardhannonracing.co.uk: "Dougal had to miss Royal Ascot with a bad scope and then the July Stakes probably came up a bit quick for him as he had been off games for a while. He is a sharp sort, and we are pleased to have got Ryan (Moore).
"Dad tells me that he won this race with a filly in 1993 (Risky), so we have decided to roll the dice with Spirit of Xian.
"She tired late on in France last time, so we are trying her in blinkers, and Pat Dobbs gets on well with her."
Union Rose was last of the four in the Dragon Stakes but Ron Harris is not dwelling on that effort, as his experienced colt had earlier finished closest to the American raider Hootenanny in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
"I was disappointed not with the run at Sandown, but with the race," said the Chepstow-based trainer.
"It was a very messy race, there was no pace and it was a two-furlong sprint, which didn't help us at all.
"I think more runners should mean there'll be a better proper-run race, and we'll be making sure of that.
"Beacon is the one to beat, he has looked impressive in all his runs, but outside of him, there might not be a lot between them."
Charlie Hills runs his Bath maiden winner Cotai Glory, who was beaten by the smart-looking Limato in the Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury just over a week ago.
"Our main concern with him is him handling the preliminaries as everything is very on top of the horses at Goodwood," the trainer told www.charleshills.com
"He's behaved perfectly during the race in his last two starts and could be hard to catch if he goes clear down the hill."
Mark Johnston's Mukhmal was second to Beacon at Sandown while Fast Act finished third to yet another Hannon star, Tiggy Wiggy, in the Super Sprint at Newbury.