Richard Hannon’s smart three-year-old colt, Trumpet Major, finished best of the home team in Saturday’s Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, in coming home fourth behind the outstanding Irish-trained winner, Camelot. The horse looks set to do well, this term, in the top mile contests on better ground, writes Elliot Slater.
The winner’s time was five seconds slower than that clocked by Trumpet Major, when he defied the best racing odds, to land the Craven Stakes over course and distance, just a couple of weeks earlier.
The result clearly indicated that the ground was far more testing than the official description of ‘good to soft’, so, under the circumstances, Hannon’s colt ran particularly well on going that would never have played to his strengths.
Never far from the pace under Richard Hughes, the son of Arakan took up the running, just over two furlongs from home, and, after seeing off Caspar Netscher, looked briefly as though he might be on his way to classic glory.
But, on the uphill run at the furlong pole, he began to tire on the testing terrain, and could give no more when both Camelot and French Fifteen came surging by, eventually having to settle for a commendable fourth place, as a result of Hermival dashing home on the far rail to grab the minor honour.
Hughes was quick to suggest that, given a better surface, he would expect Trumpet Major to prove a serious force to be reckoned with for the rest of the term over a mile. Place a bet on racing, and share in Trumpet Major’s future successes.
The obvious next step is a crack at the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, in June, a race that could also see the reappearance of his unbeaten stable companion, Harbour Watch. Hannon once again has a particularly strong hand, this term, in the three-year-old miling division.