Hannon is still adamant Canford Cliffs should not have been brushed aside by Frankel in the manner he was during Wednesday’s Qipco Sussex Stakes, but his mood could have turned darker if a troubled passage had denied Harbour Watch his Group Two prize.
The youngster carries the same orange colours of Robin Heffer and has made similarly serene progress during his first two starts, with the increasingly-influential Sheikh Fahad acquiring a share, just as Paul Roy did for Canford Cliffs during his older stablemate’s early days.
Harbour Watch (evens favourite) gave Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes their fourth consecutive Richmond by two and a quarter lengths, but it would have been more decisive had Bogart not carried him markedly to the right with a couple of furlongs to run.
“I might stay training next year!” Hannon joked.
“We worked him with Casual Glimpse, who won yesterday, and my word he went past him.
“Hughesie said he would have won by four or five lengths if he hadn’t been carried wide.
“We’ve got lots of options now, like the Mill Reef, the Middle Park and the Dewhurst.”
Speaking for the Sheikh was his racing manager David Redvers, who said: “A deal has been agreed to become a new part-owner, subject to an assessment next week, and he will continue to race in the same colours.”
Harbour Watch now disputes favouritism with Paddy Power for next year’s 2000 Guineas, while Hannon added of Canford Cliffs: “He seems all right and he’s going in on Monday for a full examination.
“I still don’t think that was his run, and he’ll go for the QEII, I suppose.”