Hannon eyes Newbury prize for Raymond Tusk

Leading trainer also has high hopes for Boitron

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Richard Hannon has earmarked the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes as a possible port of call for Raymond Tusk.

After finishing sixth on his seasonal return in a mile-and-a-half contest in Doha last month, the son of High Chaparral is likely to remain at the trip for shot at the Group Three contest better known as the John Porter Stakes on April 13.

The Middleham Park Racing-owned four-year-old ended last season by claiming the biggest victory of his career when landing a Group Two in Italy – having previously finished down the field in the St Leger.

Hannon said: “Raymond Tusk ran a great race to finish sixth in Doha, from what was a bad draw.

“The ground would also have been too quick for him and we know he is much better on slower ground.

“I think we will probably come back now and have a look at the John Porter at Newbury. He is starting to settle better now, which is a help.”

The Marlborough handler is keen to give Boitron – who is also part-owned by Middleham Park Racing – a prep race ahead of a potential tilt at the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Having won his first three starts, the son of Le Havre saw his unbeaten run come to an end when upped to Group One company in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp in October.

Hannon added: “He is going well and I don’t think the mile will be a problem for him. We will have a look at the Greenham or Craven with him.

“We probably should have ridden him more handy in France, but that is in the past now. Hopefully he can develop into a Guineas horse.”

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