Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hanami Has Form

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hanami Has Form

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Hilton

Hanami can silence the big guns ranged against her by scoring a famous victory in the Vodafone Oaks at Epsom tomorrow for the unfashionable Newmarket yard of James Toller.

Everything she has done so far points to her chance in the premier fillies' Classic, and Toller's neighbour Paul D'Arcy has already shown that the `little man' can triumph on the big stage as long as he has the right equipment, as Indian Haven proved in the Entenmann's Irish 2000 Guineas.

Hanami ran a cracking trial for the Oaks last month when fifth in the Sagitta 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

All the media glare was naturally focused on the unlucky Six Perfections after the race, but there were other hard luck stories and Hanami's was one of them.

She was badly messed about in scrimmaging over two furlongs out, but when she managed to get clear she made up ground quickly and finished with such relish that connections were entitled to think she might have been placed on another day.

Given that she is bred to want the mile and a half of tomorrow's race, it was a hugely encouraging performance, particularly as she had several of tomorrow's opponents behind her on the Rowley Mile, including Oaks favourite Yesterday, who is a considerably shorter price.

Hanami raced only twice as a two-year-old, springing a surprise at 33-1 on her second run when asked to race on testing ground over a mile at Newmarket, a result that indicated she would be a staying filly who would be helped by a bit of juice in the ground.

Any rain at Epsom would help, though punters shouldn't be put off by good ground.

Hanami will need to be every bit as good as she has promised to be because with Ballydoyle and Godolphin fielding the top two in the market, both barrels are being aimed at her.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Yesterday is already a Classic winner, having landed the Entenmann's Irish 1000 Guineas, but the form of her Curragh victory is not straightforward. …

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