Regiment follows Hannon orders

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The Independent Online
REGIMENT, trained by Richard Hannon, earned his place in the 2,000 Guineas field next month with a ready win in the Easter Stakes here yesterday. The big dark grey colt, racing for the first time since last July, came from off the pace to lead at the furlong marker and stayed on well under hands-and-heels driving by Richard Quinn to beat Centre Stalls and Elshabiba.

A 100-1 shot for the first Classic in the morning, Regiment is now 33- 1 with the big layers. And he maintained his trainer's fine record in the Easter Stakes by ensuring the prize went to East Eversleigh for the fourth time in five years. Hannon's previous successes came with Lucky Lindy, who went on to run second to Rodrigo De Triano at Newmarket, Right Win and, last year, Two O'Clock Jump. "This one would have more speed than any of those; in fact, he works so well with the sprinters at home that we were worried about him staying the mile," Hannon said. "But now he's proved he has, we've got to go for the big one."

Regiment, a son of Shaadi, runs for the Highclere Thoroughbred owners group, who had great success with Lake Coniston last year, and cost them just 12,000 guineas as a yearling. Hannon added: "He outgrew his strength last season after, so we put him away. He's 16 hands one now, and still a bit of a baby. He'll come on for this, and is entitled to go to Newmarket. He's a Guineas type." Hannon should know, having sent out three previous winners of the colts' Classic.

The Kempton Guineas trials are often regarded as a soft option, and you have to go back a long way to find a winning colt (Niksar in 1965) or a filly (Caergwrle in 1968) good enough to score in the real thing. But as well as Regiment's fine effort there was a lot to like about the way Sea Spray held on gamely to beat the fast-finishing Parrot Jungle and pace-setting Miss Universal a neck and a head in the fillies' race the Masaka Stakes. Her trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam said: "This was a more competitive race than it usually is; I think we all came here to avoid Bosra Sham at Newbury."

However, Lord Weinstock's home-bred daughter of Royal Academy, always highly regarded by her connections, is likely to miss a clash with the cracks at Newmarket and go for the Irish version instead. Chapple-Hyam added: "She jarred her knees when we ran her in the [Prix Marcel] Boussac last October and came back lame. But she's a very nice filly, and will probably want further than a mile in time."

The master of Manton had encouraging news of Spectrum, expected to take high ranking as a four-year-old this year. He said: "He's in top form, and has put on about 30 kilos over the winter. He'll reappear in either the Prix Ganay or the Lockinge."

The day's riding honours came at Haydock, where Frankie Dettori was not headed at the finish until the fifth race. In the opener, the BNFL Inside Stories Conditions Stakes, Double Eclipse showed that his older brother and stablemate Double Trigger may have to look to his laurels in the Cup races this year. The Mark Johnston-trained stayer made every yard at a relentless gallop in the two-mile event and repelled the persistent last-furlong challenge of Old Rouvel in spirited fashion.