Harbour Watch: set to miss Jersey Stakes in favour of Criterion StakesPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Hannon 5-2 for honours despite Watch's absence
RICHARD HANNON is still available at 5-2 to finish top trainer at Royal Ascot despite ruling leading light Harbour Watch out of the meeting on Wednesday.
Hannon is likely to be well represented on day one of the prestigious meeting, with Strong Suit set to face Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday, when the trainer is responsible for seven entries in both the Coventry Stakes and the Windsor Castle Stakes.
But Harbour Watch, off the track since last July, will bypass next Wednesday's Jersey Stakes for the Group 3 John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes at Newmarket on June 30 after he was ruled out of the St James's Palace Stakes on Tuesday.
Richard Hannon: plans to bypass Royal Ascot with Harbour WatchPICTURE: Edward Whitaker/RacingPostPix.com
Hannon, quoted on his website, said: "He did a nice breeze this morning up the grass with Kieren O'Neill aboard and he is moving like his old self.
"However, it would have been too much to ask to bring him back in a Group 1 and why run with a penalty in the Jersey?
"It would make more sense to skip Royal Ascot altogether and take advantage of an extra 10 days and go for the Criterion, in which he gets no penalty.
"The July Course will suit him well, it looks the perfect comeback race and should put him spot on for the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, where doubtless we will come up against a certain Frankel."
Aidan O'Brien heads the top trainer market and is available at a top-priced 4-5 with William Hill.