NO yard is in better form than that of trainer Mick Channon at the moment, which augurs well for the chances of Dan’s Dream in Sunday’s Qipco 1,000 Guineas.
Dan’s Dream has already made great strides this year winning a novice contest at Bath before stepping up stylishly to win the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury last time.
We caught up with Channon’s son and assistant Jack to find out more on Dan’s Dream, get his thoughts on the stable’s hot form and get a good word for a two-year-old on Sunday.
How are things with your Classic contender Dan’s Dream?
She’s in great order and has been training well since Newbury. We couldn’t be happier with her and the track, trip and ground look to be perfect for her. She must have a good chance.
Dan’s Dream has made huge strides already this spring. Is that a surprise at all to you?
We’ve always liked her. She was probably our best two-year-old last year but had a few niggly problems. We were pretty confident going to Bath that she’d win. We thought she’d take the step up in grade in her stride at Newbury provided she stayed the seven furlongs in the Fred Darling. She put in a really good performance that day and stayed on strongly as well.
Her owners include sporting icons Sir Ian Botham and Sir Gareth Edwards. Does that bring any extra pressure?
There’s no added pressure; we put enough of that on ourselves already. It doesn’t matter who the owners are, we always try to do our best for them and for the horse.
The 1,000 Guineas has not always been the luckiest race for the stable. Is that in the back of your minds at all?
To be brutally honest I’ve grown up with only stories of hard luck and disappointment in this race, so we’d like to set the record straight! We’ve had a lot of good fillies go for the race in the past and she’d be right up there with the best of them. Hopefully she’ll get the chance to show how good she is again.
The yard has made a brilliant start to the season. What do you put that down to?
It’s been great. The staff have worked really hard over the winter and it’s great to see the results come on the track. We’ve got our horses in good order, they’re healthy and we have a better quality bunch this year than we’ve had in recent years. Good horses make the job a lot easier.
Two stallions you are closely associated with are really doing well – Bungle Inthejungle and Sixties Icon. What do you put their success down to?
We trained Bungle Inthejungle and he was a fast two-year-old with a really good mind. We’ve had a few of them and they seem exactly the same with the speed and precocity to do well, so it’s no surprise that they have done. They’re tough and have a lot of speed. Sixties Icon has been good for a long time but never gets the credit he deserves. That’s just the way with everything being so fashion driven and it’s almost like some people don’t want him to succeed. We don’t mind that because we love training his progeny and are happy to keep getting them! He’s a very versatile stallion and seriously underrated.
Kinks and Izzer are two of the most impressive two-year-olds to run this season. What are the plans for them?
We’re really happy with both of them and they’re in great order. We’ll keep them apart until Royal Ascot with one going to the National Stakes at Sandown and the other to the Rochestown Stakes at Naas. We’ll then go to Ascot with them. They’re smart.
And, finally, apart from Dan’s Dream, who are you looking forward to at Newmarket on Sunday?
I really like Barbill. He’s a very nice two-year-old and I think he’d have an excellent chance. Trumps Up’s a nice horse too but it’s a strong race.