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Hannon hopes Night of Thunder can storm to Lockinge success

14 May 2015

Night of Thunder among the 18 declarations for Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Night of Thunder on the gallops. He will run for Godolphin this season. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Richard Hannon has suggested Night of Thunder is ‘right up there’ with Herridge Stables’ past and present star milers after the British Classic hero featured among the 18 declarations for Saturday’s Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury.

Hannon, who with his father Richard Hannon Snr has won three of the last five contests at the West Berkshire track, has compared the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner favourably to previous Lockinge Stakes champions Olympic Glory, Canford Cliffs and Paco Boy, as well as fans’ favourite, Toronado.

But, despite not winning since the Rowley Mile Classic last season, the Champion Trainer believes that Night of Thunder has what it takes to get his 2015 Series off to a flyer.

Hannon said: “In the end we decided against giving Night Of Thunder a racecourse gallop, we worked him at home and he really impressed us.”

“He should be fit enough to win, although he will improve for the run to a point and we hope that he will keep improving through the season.”

“He’s a Classic winner – he deserves the utmost respect for that – and he would be right up there with all the star milers that we have had over recent years.”

Night of Thunder will come under strong pressure at Newbury, with stable mate Toormore, Sir Michael Stoute’s Integral and Series winner Custom Cut all vying for stardom in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes.

Full list of Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes declarations (18): Aljamaaheer, Arod, Breton Rock, Cable Bay, Captain Cat, Cougar Mountain, Custom Cut, Here Comes When, Hors de Combat, Master Carpenter, Moohaarib, Night of Thunder, Toormore, Top Notch Tonto, Trade Strom, Tullius, Yuften and Integral.