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Richard Hannon jnr (left) and snr

Richard Hannon jnr (left) with his father

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Hannon jnr: 'We need a big win to clinch the title'

RICHARD HANNON'S chances of regaining the trainers' title look set to be determined over the next eight days, during which time the stable will need to land a big prize, according to his son and assistant Richard.

Hannon, who won the title for a third time in 2011 but lost his crown to John Gosden 12 months ago, is nearly £490,000 clear of Aidan O'Brien but Future Champions Day at Newmarket on Saturday could be a game changer with more than £1.1 million up for grabs before Qipco Champions Day at Ascot a week later, when there is a further £3.4m on offer.

Hannon has eight runners on the Rowley Mile on Saturday, including the progressive Anjaal, who lines up against O'Brien's War Command in the £350,000 Group 1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes.

Hannon jnr said: "It's great as an outfit if you can get the championship. It gives everyone a boost and we will know pretty much by this Saturday or next whether we will get there.

"There is a lot of money on offer at Future Champions Day and Champions Day itself and Aidan is throwing a lot at both so we need to win a big one or we've had it."

Regarding the prospects of Anjaal, a general 7-1 chance for the Dewhurst, Hannon jnr added: "He's in great form. He shaped as if the step up in trip would suit him when he won the July Stakes and could run a big race."

William Hill last night made War Command their 6-5 favourite for the Dewhurst, with Outstrip 7-4 and Anjaal 11-2.

O'Brien has a further five runners declared at Newmarket, including another 2,000 Guineas prospect Great White Eagle in the Middle Park Stakes, the other Group 1 feature on the card in which Hannon runs Shamshon and Brown Sugar.

Great White Eagle is favourite for the Middle Park with BetVictor and William Hill at 9-4.

Hannon jnr said: "Shamshon didn't show his form on soft ground at Newbury last time, while Brown Sugar is quick and deserves to take his chance after winning well last time."

Looking ahead to Champions Day, the Hannon team will field only one runner in the Qipco Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, but whether it is Toronado or Olympic Glory hinges on a workout.

Hannon jnr added: "Sheikh Joaan is happy to run just one in the QEII and we may run Sky Lantern in the Champion Stakes, but she must have it fast."

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