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Workforce may face Irish task

Derby record-breaker Workforce could yet contest the Irish version at the Curragh at the end of this month.

Workforce broke the 15-year track record for the English Classic by almost a second on a hot day at Epsom on Saturday

Five-time Derby-winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute is weighing up the options for Workforce, with the Irish Derby or the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot the likely options for his next start.

Meanwhile, Richard Hannon brought up his 250th winner at Salisbury when Poltergeist and Chica Whopa struck at the Wiltshire venue yesterday.

Hannon's double also moved the East Everleigh handler onto the 74-winner mark for the season when taking both divisions of the Castlepoint-sponsored seven-furlong maiden for three-year-olds.

Poltergeist has long been held in high regard by the Hannon team and the Highclere Thoroughbred-owned three-year-old never gave supporters a moment's scare in division one.

The half-brother to 2000 Guineas second Vital Equine finished second in a hot maiden on his final start as a juvenile and needed minimum assistance from Richard Hughes to oblige as the |4-9 favourite.

Hannon said: “I am glad the ground came right as he had a few problems as a two-year-old.

“I have been careful with him after he picked up an injury last year and you'll see a much fitter horse next time.

“We'll see what the handicapper does but he could turn out to be a really nice horse.”

Chica Whopa (6-1) then brought up the milestone success as the Irish import claimed the scalp of 4-5 favourite Give Your Verdict by a neck to complete the 9-1 brace.

The trainer's son and assistant, Richard Hannon jnr, commented: “We have always had a few horses for the Durkan family and I imagine she came to us after running out of opportunities in Ireland as their maidens are always hot.”

Roger Charlton heaved a sigh of relief after the rain which soaked his Beckhampton base just 10 miles away avoided the track, allowing 5-2 favourite Sea Of Heartbreak to complete a three-timer in the EBF Margadale Fillies' Handicap.

Charlton said: “If the ground had gone soft I wouldn't have run her but it is perfect really.”

Mark Usher had no hesitation in snapping up Kieren Fallon to replace the sidelined Martin Dwyer aboard Honourable Knight, and the former champion repaid his faith by taking the opening six-furlong maiden.

With Hindsight, the 7-2 favourite, shaded the advantage inside the distance but Fallon carried the popular 8-1 winner across the line for a head success.

Usher said: “Martin has hurt his ankle again and he uses the same agent, Gareth Owen, as Kieren so I couldn't have got a better replacement. I hope it wins him the championship!”

Belfast Telegraph


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