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Royal Ascot Top Trainer: Hannon the value to make perfect debut

| 16.06.2014

Aidan O’Brien is understandably short in the betting to be crowned Royal Ascot Top Trainer for the third time in four years but 4/7 is prohibitive and the superior option lies next on the list.

While the master of Ballydoyle – who has enjoyed five more winners in the past five years than any at the meeting – will be entering Berkshire with a predictably strong team the fact is that when looking down his list of runners, despite the strength in depth, there isn’t the usual cast of obvious candidates one would desire when backing at odds-on.

Leading Light looks the most likely but the Gold Cup appears strong this year especially if the ground comes right for Tac De Boistron and although O’Brien usually finds a juvenile winner at some point during the five days it may not be enough.

In contrast, from the ammunition being assembled by Richard Hannon in his first Royal Ascot since taking over from his father it’s difficult to see which ones won’t fire.

The likes of Telescope, Night Of Thunder and Sky Lantern all have outstanding claims and that is before the bonus round is triggered by Herridge Stables in their specialist subject; the two-year-old division.

One of the go-to betting rules when all else if failing has been to follow the Hannon’s young guns and with six two-year-old races to attack it would be a major surprise if at least one winner wasn’t added to the tally.

The yard will also be targeting the handicaps and with Windshear and Ninjago to name but two reportedly in rude health this could be a memorable week for Hannon Jnr.

Fancier prices of 7/2 are now long gone, partly because they were quickly sussed to be too generous and when the stable and their top-rung pilot Richard Hughes’ form was changed from good to rattling.

The stable scored six winners last Friday alone but it is the general consistency of the string which is most encouraging.

From their last 32 runners at the time of writing only 11 haven’t rewarded Placepot backers with nine securing maximum prize money.

That has forced the price into 5/2 but of all the ‘hotpots’ available in this week’s betting buffet, Hannon to top the training ranks looks more appetising than any.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster