Richard Hannon’s high-class miler Dick Turpin could be set for a step up in trip if the champion trainer goes ahead with a plan to send the four-year-old to Royal Ascot for a crack at the 10 furlong Prince of Wales’s Stakes in mid-June, writes Elliot Slater.
Dick Turpin returned to the fray last week with an impressive effort in landing the Group 2 Bet365 Mile, where he beat Roger Charlton’s Cityscape by two-and-a-quarter-lengths despite not being fully fit. Hannon stated after the race that the Arakan colt and his illustrious stable companion Canford Cliffs are undoubtedly the two best milers he has ever trained and that the pair were likely to clash for the first time this term when the latter makes his seasonal bow at Newbury next month in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes. Although those looking at the Ascot odds may discover their first meeting comes somewhat later than this.
Now Hannon has raised the possibility that either or both horses may be campaigned over a longer trip this season in a bid to avoid the pair taking each other on in all the top mile contests around Europe. Dick Turpin has run once before over 10 furlongs and wasn’t disgraced in finishing fifth to Rip van Winkle in last August’s Juddmonte International Stakes at York, but didn’t conclusively prove that he is anywhere near as effective over the longer trip.
Hannon believes however that his charge has strengthened up significantly since last term and that now the extra quarter mile could well be within his compass. A crack at Royal Ascot’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes is being seriously considered and a decision is set to be taken following the outcome of the Lockinge Stakes, a race for which Canford Cliffs is a warm order with the few firms currently offing odds and is priced up at 6/5. Dick Turpin can be backed at 11/2.