Johnston set to push Hannon for Goodwood crown

Richard Hannon is favourite to retain the Dick Hern Trophy / Picture by Malcolm Wells
Richard Hannon is favourite to retain the Dick Hern Trophy / Picture by Malcolm Wells

The race to be Goodwood’s top trainer of 2016 will go down to the wire at the track’s season finale on Sunday.

The Dick Hern Trophy is awarded annually to the trainer with the most race wins over the six-month Goodwood season.

This year’s prize looks like going to either Richard Hannon or Mark Johnston, who have dominated the contest in recent years, with both set to send plenty of runners to post in this, Goodwood’s 19th and final card of the year.

After Friday’s final declarations, there were a healtjy total of 91 horses left across the seven-race card.

At present, Hannon leads the Dick Hern standings, with nine winners and eight seconds.

Sir Michael Stoute has also trained nine winners at Goodwood this year, but with only five seconds and no entries for Sunday’s meeting, he is unable to land the spoils.

I am delighted to see such a significant entry for our final raceday of the year. It is also great to have the National Hunt jockeys coming back again to ride the two-mile course in the Alderbrook Stakes.

Seamus Buckley

The main threat to Hannon comes from Johnston, who is bringing a significant raiding party down from his Yorkshire base.

Johnston could well bridge the gap – he currently sits on seven winners and ten seconds.

Johnston last won the Dick Hern Trophy in 2012, while Hannon is looking to retain the title he won for the first time last year.

Clerk of the course Seamus Buckley is pleased to see so many horses entered.

He said: “I am delighted to see such a significant entry for our final raceday of the year. It is also great to have the National Hunt jockeys coming back again to ride the two-mile course in the Alderbrook Stakes (16 runners).

“The ground is currently good to soft after the weekend rain, but the course is drying and we are predicting some more good in the description by Sunday.”

Dick Hern leaderboard ahead of the season finale: Richard Hannon 9 (8 second places); Sir Michael Stoute 9 (5); Mark Johnston 7 (10); Mick Channon 6; John Gosden 5; Charlie Appleby 5.

Gates open at 11.30am with the first race due off at 2pm. Tickets start from £25 with complimentary admission for under-18s. Call 01243 216610 or visit www.goodwood.com for more information.

Our tips for Sunday: 2.00 Rosie Royale, 2.35 Kohinoor Diamond, 3.10 Procurator, 3.45 Lightning Charlie, 4.20 Monarchs Glen, 4.50 Southdown Lad, 5.20 Unison.

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