No winning sign-off for Hannon
A top-class training career ended without a farewell winner as Richard Hannon drew a blank at Lingfield on his final day with a licence.
Sebs Sensei went closest of his three runners at Lingfield, getting caught close home and beaten half a length in the 32Red Nursery before Lions Arch brought down the curtain with third under Sean Levey in the Ladbrokes Handicap.
Hannon notched a record 235 victories as he collected a fifth trainers' title in 2013, and the inevitable news he would be passing on the baton came towards the end of November.
Hannon sent out more than 4,000 winners overall, with four British Classics among them. He naturally remains an integral part of the set-up and will still be involved around the yard and at his local racecourses.
Hannon had only a few horses when taking over from his father Harry in 1970, but has consistently increased the size and quality of his string, which is split across two yards at Herridge and Everleigh in Wiltshire.
After bringing through such fine horses as Tirol, Don't Forget Me, Lyric Fantasy, Canford Cliffs and Paco Boy, he leaves his son in charge with the stable in as healthy a shape as it has ever been.
The 1000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern and top-class colt Toronado are among those remaining in training as older horses, while National Stakes star Toormore is among those with Classic aspirations for the coming season.
Hannon did not head to Lingfield but had already told his website that he would not be complaining if he failed to get on the scoresheet.
He said: "I have been very lucky to have trained so many good horses, and, though Richard will have the licence, I will still be out there on the gallops with him on Wednesday morning.
"However, it has been a long old year, and I am looking forward to our annual holiday in Barbados. We leave next Monday and it will be good to catch up with some old friends out there and enjoy a few family celebrations."
Richard jnr's wife, Jemima, gave birth to the couple's second child, Jack, on Christmas Day.