Hannon and Hughes strike with Strong Suit
Report: Wednesday, Ascot
Jersey Stakes (Group 3) 7f, 3yo
RICHARD HANNON and Richard Hughes started day two of Royal Ascot in the same fashion as day one as a rejuvenated Strong Suit returned to winning ways, the trainer and jockey having won the Queen Anne on Tuesday with Canford Cliffs.
After victory in the Coventry Stakes at the meeting last year, the three-year-old's campaign had begun in disappointing fashion when last of six in the Greenham behind Frankel, a performance which resulted in a breathing operation that delivered an immediate result.
Hughes secured himself prime position after a level break, content to lead the pack as William Buick and Utley set a strong gallop, quickly establishing a lead of around three lengths.
Buick continued to drive on and at three out asked his mount to quicken again, taking another two lengths out of his pursuers. Those in behind were beginning to get to work, but Utley quickly folded, coming back to the field with Hughes breezing past on the 11-1 shot.
Favourite Codemaster emerged with a challenge but could never get to the leader, hanging slightly to the right in the process, but took second at 7-4. Western Aristocrat stayed on well to grab third at 9-2.
Richard Hannon: "Whoever operated has done a great job"PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Winning trainer Richard Hannon said: "We took him to the Greenham and Hughsie [Richard, jockey] said he was gasping so we put a head camera on him at home and could see the airway closing up.
“Whoever has operated on him has done a great job. He was flowing today, which he couldn't when his breathing was affecting him.
“He had a 5lb penalty there and has done a very good job of it really. A mile wouldn't worry him.”
"We took him to Kempton with Canford Cliffs andhe worked brilliantly."
Hughes knew his mount had come back to his best, as he added: "He won here hast year but had a bit of a problem in between. We fixed that and he's bounced back. I knew after 100 yards he was back to to form.
"He's got a great turn of foot. It was very lonely at Ascot in the middle of the track and he's done wonderfully well with his penalty."
Connections of runner-up Codemaster were delighted with the colt's effort as trainer Henry Candy said: "We're delighted with his run, I hope there is more to come. At the the moment we are not decided where to go next but we think he'll get an extra furlong."