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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Hannon unleashes French import Flying Dragon at Ffos Las

Ffos Las: hosts an evening card on Wednesday
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Richard Hannon is sending out an expensive two-year-old in uncharacteristic circumstances on Wednesday. 

Flying Dragon, who runs in the 6.00 at Ffos Las, finished second in his debut at Chantilly in July for French trainer Matthieu Palussiere. A few weeks later, he went through the ring at Goodwood and fetched £175,000 before winding up in Hannon's Herridge yard.

Since his Goodwood sale, the form of Flying Dragon's debut has been advertised by winner Shaman who was second in a Listed race at Deauville on August 12. The short-term signs are good.

However, Flying Dragon is not bred for the short-term. He is by first-season sire War Command, whose progeny are hinting at more stamina than might be expected, from a family of French middle-distance horses and stayers. 

An extended 7f is therefore a rational place to start in Britain for Flying Dragon. He has been presented with a fair opportunity, with the Clive Cox-trained House Of Kings in theory the biggest danger, but whatever happens here long-term improvement can be expected.

Beat That: dual Grade 1 winner over hurdles

Can Beat That beat them again?

There are unlikely to be many more talented horses on show than in the four-runner novice chase at Southwell (2.50), where former Grade 1 winner and half-brother to Might Bite, Beat That, bids for a second win over fences.

The ten-year-old missed almost two and a half years before returning last spring and his fire has slowly been rekindled. He recorded a first win since April 2014 when running away with a Newton Abbot novice last time, with 32 lengths separating him from the fairly useful Exxaro.

In form terms, Jacks Last Hope and Special Prep would provide an approximate but no stronger test. Southwell's deceptively stiff fences will ask as many questions and, should he put in a clear round, there might be a temptation to move Beat That, now ten, into the high-class races where his talent belongs.

Big day for Cannon

Progressive three-year-old filly Innamorare will bid for a third consecutive success – and a fourth of the season – when lining up in the one mile fillies' claimer (5.10) at Gowran, with trainer Clare Cannon admitting to having mixed feelings about the prospect of her stable's summer flag-bearer heading to pastures new.

The County Down handler's consistent daughter of Intense Focus was picked up for €2,000 as a yearling and has amassed almost €27,500 in prize money, now holding a claiming price of €17,000 at the Kilkenny venue on Wednesday.

Cannon said of her charge, who landed back-to-back handicaps at Leopardstown in her most recent outings and has risen from a mark of 59 to 70 (now 68) this season: "She's been excellent for my little yard and is in very good form at the moment. She showed her toughness the last twice and seems to have been improving."

She added of her filly: "I'll be sorry to see her go if she happens to be claimed, but I'm a very small trainer and it would be a big day for our yard if she was sold – we don't sell very many of ours.

"I'm almost hoping that it won't happen but I'll have to be philosophical about it and acknowledge that these things do happen."

Joseph O'Brien: trainer of Perfect Tapatino

Tapatino aiming for Gowran perfection

The pre-race vibes that Perfect Tapatino was a well-treated colt off a mark of 61 proved to be spot on at the Curragh on Saturday as Joseph O'Brien's charge landed a competitive 23-runner handicap as the well-supported 7-4 favourite.

The Charles Fipke-owned four-year-old will make a quick reappearance at Gowran on Wednesday off top weight in the second division of the 1m apprentice handicap, running off a 6lb penalty which is partially offset by Shane Crosse's 4lb claim.

A half-brother to Bob Baffert's Del Mar Oaks winner Internallyflawless, Perfect Tapatino did not get the rub of the green when third on his first start for O'Brien at Leopardstown, but made amends at Irish Flat racing headquarters four days ago.

The Perfect Soul colt drops in trip by two furlongs at Gowran, but his stable debut came over one mile and he could prove to be more than capable of handling a rise in the weights.

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The form of Flying Dragon's debut has, since his Goodwood sale, been advertised by winner Shaman
E.W. Terms
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