Richard Hannon ranks King Of Change among the best horses he has handled as the four-year-old gears up for a planned return at Royal Ascot.
King Of Change finished second as a 66-1 shot in last year’s 2000 Guineas before going on to win a Sandown Listed event on the way to Group One glory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on his final start.
Hannon has set his sights on the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal meeting with the Farhh colt, who he believes compares favourably with previous Group One-winning milers from the yard.
He told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s had a nice break and we’re obviously full steam ahead for the Queen Anne.
“I think he could nearly be one of the best horses we’ve had. I’d definitely have him up there in the same band as Canford Cliffs, Olympic Glory and Toranado.
“He looks amazing and he’s still relatively lightly raced. He doesn’t need soft ground, he won on it on Champions Day, he goes through it but he doesn’t need it.”
Hannon also has a live contender for this year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas with dual Group Two winner Threat.
The son of Footstepsinthesand won both the Gimcrack at York and Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last term before signing off with fifth place in the Middle Park Stakes.
Hannon reports the Cheveley Park Stud-owned colt to have progressed through the winter and expects him to have “every chance” of staying a mile.
He said: “He’s settled down and improved mentally – that was the main thing he had to do. He was a little bit immature.
“In fairness to him, the days he got warm (last year) were very hot days, but he got better as the year went on. Physically he’s done extremely well and mentally he’s done well
“He will give himself every chance of staying because he doesn’t pull, he’s very sensible that way.
“He was getting seven furlongs no problem in the end and I don’t see why it should bother him on fast ground. If he doesn’t, we’ll come back, it’s as simple as that.”