Richard Hannon remains positive during race closings | Racing News

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Trainer Richard Hannon, pictured in August 2016

There may not be horse boxes heading to Doncaster for the start of the Flat season on Saturday, but head coach Richard Hannon has remained positive during the biggest crisis he has potentially faced.

With races in Britain currently suspended until the end of April at the earliest amid the coronavirus pandemic, trainers have to rethink the plans as they try to maintain the well-being of their horses.

Much of the workforce from other sectors across the country has been encouraged to work at home to help curb the spread of the virus, but with horses still requiring daily care, this does not apply to stable staff, and Hannon is very grateful for the support. he has received from his team.

He said, "When you've been waiting for the Flat season to start, it's weird that it doesn't happen, and I hope this never happens again. It's scary how quickly this has happened.

"Our boys have behaved impeccably. If something positive occurs to you, the way the boys have come together is very good news."

"They have turned up and gone ahead with things, as they understand that their job is to look after the horses; they could have easily taken time."

"We are doing this while obeying the two-meter (social distancing) rule, which, while quite strange, still allows them to talk to each other."

While Hannon may be in a better position than some of her counterparts, she would like to see the British Horse Racing Authority give an indication of when racing will resume.

He said, "I think it would be nice if the BHA made an announcement, giving homeowners something to look forward to and training something to work on so relationships don't get strained.

"If the government says we can't compete, then we can't, but if they don't, it would be good for the BHA to say that we are looking to compete at some point, even if it wasn't a promise, since we can all have a goal to work.

"We just need a little bit of reassurance for the owners to stay involved and it will give us some light at the end of the tunnel."

"Sometimes it is very difficult for trainers to tell owners to keep their horses training when we don't know when they will run. We need a goal, even if it is about running behind closed doors."

Although the key tests for the Qipco 2000 and 1000 Guineas have been the victims of stalled races, Hannon reports that her classic contenders will remain on their way for a trip to Newmarket, whenever possible.

He said: "Sky Lantern and Billesdon Brook were defeated in their 1000 victories in Guinea they had tests and so was Night Of Thunder before their 2000 victory in Guineas, most need them, but that is out of the window now.

"Since we haven't had a really bad winter, they haven't missed a day. The threat looks great and I couldn't be happier with it. I think Al Madhar, who won a maiden from Newmarket, is a good horse and he could go directly there.

"We have some for the 1000 Guineas, but Cloak Of Spirits would be the main one. Something was wrong with her in Doncaster as she seemed to be enjoying the ripples at Newmarket on the last day. She doesn't need as much work as some, but she looks good on herself "

Hannon is one of the few to benefit from the shortened 2019/20 national hunting season, with a series of jump riders, including first-degree winning runners Tom Scudamore and Tom O & # 39; Brien, who are temporarily exchanging codes. .

He explained, "The jumping boys have been very helpful. They have been ringing in their crowds to get in."

"We have had Tom Scudamore, Tom O & # 39; Brien, Kieron Edgar, Zac Baker and Kevin Jones. This has never happened before as they would normally still be competing."

"The other guys have enjoyed being here and I think they have enjoyed going a little faster with the flat horses. They have all been very helpful: there is a good atmosphere about the place and they are welcome at any time."

Oisin Murphy is likely to be hard to beat by retaining his jockey champion crown, but Hannon believes Tom Marquand, who recently celebrated his first Group One winner aboard the William Haggas-trained Addeybb in Australia on Saturday, has the potential. of being a leading contender for this year's title.

He said, "It was great to see Tom win and he has found a real niche. He is doing well, at home and around the world."

"He did his learning here and has done very well on his own. The hardest thing this season could be stopping him, although he rides every day when he can."

"He could be a rider champion as it is about numbers and he will go anywhere for the winners. There are many good and good riders, but their numbers and actions keep going up."

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