The trainer is set to launch a twin assault on the six-furlong Group One, with the unbeaten Mums Tipple the marginal second-favourite behind Andre Fabre’s Earthlight following a hugely-impressive 11-length demolition job in a sales race at York.
However, Hannon has never made any secret of the regard in which he holds Threat – winner of the Gimcrack at York and the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster on his two most recent starts – and yet he is available at double-figure odds for this weekend’s fascinating contest.
“It’s probably the best Middle Park we’ve seen for years, and so it should be,” said Hannon. “Both of our horses, Threat and Mums Tipple, are in great form. Threat has done it right at that level with penalties. He’s a very good horse and has been massively overlooked, in my opinion.”
Meanwhile champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls has been dealt a blow ahead of the new season with the news that his RSA Chase winner Topofthegame will miss the whole campaign.
The giant chaser, ridden to Cheltenham success by Harry Cobden, was a leading contender for the 2020 Gold Cup. “Unfortunately Topofthegame is out for the season after sustaining a minor leg injury,” said Nicholls.
“While the problem is not serious it is enough to make us stop with him at this stage and give him plenty of time to recover.”