Bunker will test his credibility as a possible Investec Derby contender in the Dante Stakes at York
Last Updated: 22/04/14 3:26pm
Bunker will test his credibility as a possible Investec Derby contender in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York on May 15.
As he is owned in partnership by Al Shaqab Racing, the Hurricane Run colt is a major ride for Frankie Dettori, who helped him to beat subsequent Prix Jean Luc Lagardere winner Karakontie in a Listed race at Deauville last August.
The Richard Hannon stable decided to end Bunker's season on a high at that point.
"He needed a break and the plan is to start in the Dante," he said. "We're not sure he's a Derby horse, but he has won his Listed race, he's very well and his form is rock-solid. He has a bit of an attitude - he can just turn it on sometimes - which is fine when you've won a Derby. "
There are 35 horses at the stable owned by Sheikh Joaan's Al Shaqab operation, which include many unraced maidens, but among that squad are two of Hannon's very best.
QEII winner Olympic Glory, who was disappointing on his final start in the Breeders' Cup Mile, remains in training along with Toronado, who took the Sussex Stakes but has been absent since weakening to last in the Juddmonte International.
"They're both being trained for the Lockinge at Newbury," Hannon said. "The idea is that if it's quick, Toronado would go there, and if it's looking softer then it will be Olympic Glory.
"They won't both run but they will have to meet at some stage, whether it's the Sussex, the Jacques le Marois or whatever.
"I have entered Olympic Glory in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot, as Frankie is sure he'll stay a mile and a quarter."
Of other horses in the stable, the 1000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern is said to have strengthened up considerably over the winter and is set to return in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Stable jockey Richard Hughes, who has been off injured since suffering a nasty-looking fall on Dubai World Cup night, sees his specialist on Wednesday ahead of a return on Montiridge in Friday's bet365 Mile at Sandown.
"He doesn't see any problems, and he's rested up," Hannon said.