A familiar name on the trophy as Ginger Nut seals sweet success for Hannon
The Weatherbys Super Sprint has been about one Richard in recent years, but the name most synonymous with winning it was back celebrating as Ginger Nut provided the Richard Hannon yard with its ninth triumph in the valuable dash.
Richard Fahey, who has saddled the Super Sprint winner three times in the last five years, again threw all but the kitchen sink at the £250,000 prize with six runners, but the feature race on a sun-drenched day in Berkshire was not heading to North Yorkshire. It was staying much closer to home.
Ridden by Harry Bentley, Ginger Nut was held up and made headway two furlongs out, but did not enjoy the best of runs – which is hardly a surprise when 25 jockeys were vying for their slice of the £122,925 first prize.
However, the 16-1 winner then quickened nicely to deny 50-1 chance Moojim, with 9-2 joint-favourite Kinks third.
For Hannon, it was a second victory in the race after Tiggy Wiggy in 2014, to go along with the seven successes his father Richard snr enjoyed when he was at the controls.
"When we bought her, she didn't have an owner and Chris and Jenny Powell came in and we thought she'd be ideal for the Super Sprint," said Hannon. "I said I'd have a quarter, but then it turned into a half!
"It's great for them. They're good investors and good people and that's who this race is for. They've got their payday and a lovely filly, who won well."
The Super Sprint is for horses who cost less than £60,000 at certain sales, and the cheaper they are the less weight they carry.
At £23,000 – spotted by chief Hannon talent scouts Peter and Ross Doyle – Ginger Nut looks money well spent.
"It's a lovely day," added the winning trainer, taking a trip down memory lane. "My dad won this race 65 million times, which I get bored of listening to, then I won it with Tiggy Wiggy and now with this filly, who was a lovely, cheap buy.
"She's a lovely filly who has improved all the way. I was gutted the first couple of times she got beat, but we've just tucked her in a bit and that seems to suit her. Whether she's Listed class or not I don't know, but she's had her day in the sun."
Hannon yard’s Super Sprint wins
(First seven for Richard snr, last two Richard jnr)
The Hannon stable is now home to blue bloods costing all sorts, but its leader still gets a kick from from turning bargain buys into moneyspinners.
"These type of horses are great, although they don't tend to turn into the Classic horses for next year, but they're cheap and affordable and have their place in the business, which is massively important and we've always thrived on that," Hannon explained.
"We've never disregarded that and we've always tried to keep it going, but at the same time you need a bit of everything, cheap two-year-olds, expensive ones, horses for auction races.
"I do look at the auction races now and think I've got only five who are qualified and you need ten or 15. We still have all of those owners who won with dad and they love it and this is their market and what this race is all about. It's great it's continued."
A sentiment, it seems, no-one named Richard will disagree with.
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