The Duke of York Stakes has been nominated by Richard Hannon as a potential stepping stone to Royal Ascot for Al Quoz Sprint runner-up Happy Romance.
The four-year-old daughter of Dandy Man ran a blinder in finishing a length and a quarter behind A Case Of You over six furlongs at Meydan on World Cup night.
Sean Levey’s mount, who won the Weatherbys Super Sprint as a juvenile and took the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last season, will now have some downtime after her exertions in Dubai, before a return to a track where she won on her only previous visit.
The six-furlong Grade Two on the Knavesmire is her preferred option, according to her East Everleigh handler.
“Happy Romance ran a lovely race in Dubai. I was very happy,” said Hannon.
“It was just a shame she was not drawn closer to the rail, as it seemed they had a bit of an advantage over there, but we were delighted with her.
“I put her in the Duke of York the other day, but I have put her in the two races at Ascot, the five and the six (King’s Stand and Platinum Jubilee), and we will work back from there, really.
“She will have a run beforehand, there is that one at York perhaps – there are options – but she will have a little break now and keep her ticking over.”
Hannon is also mulling over options for Brocklesby Conditions Stakes winner Persian Force, following his runaway success at Doncaster.
Bought for €225,000 at Goffs in September, the son of Mehmas lived up to his lofty reputation and price tag when bolting up in the traditional turf season curtain-raiser, by four and three-quarter lengths under Rossa Ryan.
“Persian Force is is very nice horse,” said Hannon. “He’s come back and he’s relaxed like good horses do.
“I would imagine we will look at something like the Olympic Glory Stakes on Lockinge day at Newbury (May 14) or something like that.
“He will have one or two runs before Royal Ascot.”
Last season’s Greenham winner Chindit took the Listed Doncaster Mile on his seasonal return and should the ground be sufficiently quick enough, could line up in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 14.
It is a race the Hannon yard has won five times previously, the last in 2015 with Night Of Thunder.
However, Hannon is in no rush to pick his next target and said: “Chindit has options. There is the Lockinge or that race at Sandown (the Group Two bet365 Mile on April 22) as well, so that is probably the next stop – one of those two, probably.
“I don’t want to run him on soft ground, though.”