Champion trainer Richard Hannon is pulling out all the stops to grab a fair share of the massive prize-money on offer around Europe during the critical month of October and expects his smart performer Strong Suit to run a very big race in the Group 2 Burj Khalifa Challenge Stakes at Newmarket on October 8, before going on four weeks later to bid for the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs, writes Elliot Slater.
Strong Suit was a very smart juvenile last term of whom great things were expected in 2011, but he was bitterly disappointing when a distant last of six behind the mighty Frankel on his seasonal reappearance in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury, after which Hannon sent him for a breathing operation, the results of which have been plain for all to see. Strong Suit hasn’t looked back since the op and is now a major force once again in the seven furlongs and mile division. Those looking at the Breeders Cup 2011 betting will be keeping an eye on his preparations.
Sent off an unconsidered 11/1 in the betting online on his first start after surgery, Strong Suit proved he was back at the top of his game by showing a fine turn of foot to beat Codemaster in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, then failed by only a head and a nose in a three-way photo finish to the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly three weeks later, running a blinder in defeat. At Glorious Goodwood at the end of July the son of Rahy then put up a stylish display in easily accounting for the opposition in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes, coming home a length-and-a-half in front of the useful Red Jazz.
Hannon believes he has his charge spot on for Newmarket and that the break between the HQ race and the Breeders’ Cup Mile will be ideal. Strong Suit will go to both races with very serious chances of proving a big success.