Race conditions rethink prompts Hannon to consider pair for Jersey.
Byline: Graham Dench
RICHARD HANNON is considering the Jersey Stakes for Ivawood and Kool Kompany after discovering the BHA had reversed its plan to prevent winners of Pattern races from contesting Royal Ascot's traditional Wednesday opener.
When Ascot last year unveiled the creation of a new royal meeting Group 1 sprint for three-year-olds, subsequently named the Commonwealth Cup, the BHA stated Group winners would no longer be able to take part in the 7f Group 3 Jersey.
Had that change been in place previously, two of the Jersey's last four winners, including 2014 victor Mustajeeb, would have been forbidden entry. Five of the 23 runners in last year's race carried Group penalties.
However, although no formal announcement of a change of plan has been made, published race conditions for the Jersey show no barrier to Group winners.
The move was welcomed yesterday by Hannon, who at first believed the popular prize had been placed out of bounds for dual 2,000 Guineas third Ivawood and this spring's Craven Stakes winner Kool Kompany, subsequently 13th in the 2,000 Guineas. Kool Kompany holds an entry at Haydock on Saturday.
Hannon said: "I thought about the Jersey for Kool Kompany straight after the Guineas but somebody told me he would not be eligible under new race conditions. However, I had a look at the Pattern book and it turned out he is eligible after all.
"It would be crazy if Group winners were not allowed to run. The race should be open to all. It would be a nothing race without them and not what Royal Ascot is about.
"The Jersey is likely for Kool Kompany and it's one of three options for Ivawood, who also has the St James's Palace and Commonwealth Cup as possible targets."
Explaining the rethink, BHA racing operations manager Stuart Middleton said: "After further discussions we elected to leave the conditions of the Jersey as they were for a year, to see how it pans out.
"We're delighted with the entries for the Commonwealth Cup. It's promising at present, though we'll review things after this year's meeting."
Another Group winner to have been earmarked for the Jersey is the Hugo Palmer-trained Aktabantay, triumphant in last year's Solario Stakes.
The field in the 2m1/2f handicap chase won by Fantasy King head down the back straight at Cartmel. Talk of the Tracks, page 10