07/30/2010 12:07PM

Libranno wires Richmond Stakes at Goodwood


Richard Hannon’s extraordinary domination of the British juvenile division continued at Goodwood on Friday as Libranno led throughout to take the Group 2, $125,000 Richmond Stakes. Five Hannon-trained 2-year-olds have now won eight group races in England this season, six of them Group 2’s, plus a pair of Group 3’s.

Hannon has had a partner in plunder in son-in-law Richard Hughes, who has ridden all eight of his big juvenile winners. In the Richmond, Hughes busted Libranno out of the gate and never looked back as Libranno covered the straight six furlongs in 1:11.48, holding off The Paddyman by 1 1/4 lengths. The victory by the 5-4 favorite was a duplicate of his wire-to-wire score in the six-furlong, Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket on July 8. In three starts to date, Libranno, a son of Librettist, has never been headed.

Hannon’s other juvenile stakes winners this year are King Torus (Group 2 Superlative Stakes and Group 2 Vintage Stakes), Zebedee (Group 3 Molecomb Stakes), and the filly Memory (Group 3 Albany Stakes and Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes). Hannon has swept all six juvenile group races at the Newmarket July Meeting and at Glorious Goodwood, but his highest rated 2-year-old remains Strong Suit, the winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Adding to the career season being experienced by the 65-year-old trainer are his three Group 1 winning milers: Canford Cliffs, Paco Boy, and Dick Turpin. What makes Hannon’s achievement all the more remarkable is that he doesn’t train for any of the big Arab-owned outfits.

U.S. racing fans, however, are unlikely to see any of these horses in the Breeders’ Cup, as Hannon does not hesitate to express his disdain for America’s premier event, his reticence born of three well-beaten Cup losers in the early nineties, among them Mr Brooks, who died in the 1992 Sprint.