Red rides high for hot Hannon

Results went Richard Hannon’s way in his attempt to become champion trainer, with Red Badge playing his part in the Whiteley Clinic Select Stakes at Goodwood.

The only previous title victory for the stable was in 1992 but with nearest rival Sir Michael Stoute failing to spoil the day by winning the Ladbrokes St Leger, Hannon retains a slim lead ahead of the autumn deciders.

A wet Sussex afternoon put the advantage firmly with the soft-ground lovers and it posed no problems to Red Badge (7-2), a Listed winner at Newbury last time.

The 2-1 favourite Poet, who hung on grimly to his lead, was the first obstacle to overcome and once Red Badge and Richard Hughes were over him they faced a second challenge from the progressive filly Mirror Lake.

Mirror Lake had been a little cramped for space two furlongs out but could not make enough of an impact in the closing stages and was held by a length and a quarter.

The trainer’s son and assistant, Richard Hannon jnr, said: “We’ve had some interest from Hong Kong in him but until it materialises, we’ll just crack on and run him.

“He’s coming into his own now and the St Simon at Newbury would be an option.”

Hannon jnr feels everything is to play for during the championship run-in, but believes: “We might never have a better chance.”

There should be more heard from Mirror Lake, whose trainer Amanda Perrett reported: “That was a solid run on horrible ground.

“I don’t think there were any real excuses but she’s something to look forward to next year.”

Hughes and Hannon followed up with a smooth debut from Vanguard Dream (4-1) in the EBF Buy A £10,000 Racing Post Bonus Yearling Maiden Stakes.

Hannon jnr added: “He’s quite small so I don’t know how much more is to come but he’s a home-bred and has won for his dam.”

The Listed RUK Starlit Stakes was lifted in far more devastating style by Definightly (7-2), now unbeaten in three starts at the course.

The sprinter took this by an effortless six lengths and in similar fashion to in a handicap here two weeks ago, when trainer Roger Charlton had first applied a set of blinkers.

Charlton suggested on the previous occasion that next week’s Ayr Silver Cup would be a target, but with the added penalties the Gold version may now come into the equation.

Sponsors William Hill, as well as Blue Square, now offer 12-1 for the latter.

Charlton’s assistant Tom Grantham said: “The blinkers and the soft ground are definitely the factors.

“He seems a different horse, you just ask him ’go on fella’ and he goes straight away.

“He’s in the Ayr Gold Cup and it does rain up at Ayr, but that is all up to the boss.”

Greg Fairley judged his move just right as Hajoum (10-1) evaded the onrushing hordes in the Bluebay Handicap.

“He jumped and winged the gates and they let him have a soft lead,” said Fairley.

“He has won on the all-weather at Wolverhampton so he seems pretty versatile.”

There was to be no St Leger success for Ted Spread but at least trainer Mark Tompkins had some consolation in the Holt’s Auctioneers Handicap, in which Kathleen Frances (6-1) made it three on the bounce.

Owner Russell Trew said: “We had her dam, Trew Class, and she was better at four so this one will stay in training next year.”

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