Toormore wins Craven Stakes at Newmarket to maintain 2,000 Guineas push

Toormore ridden by Ryan Moore on the way to victory at Newmarket yesterday

Toormore ridden by Ryan Moore on the way to victory at Newmarket yesterday - Credit: PA

Toormore, last season’s champion two-year-old in Europe, predictably won the Craven Stakes at Newmarket yesterday to retain his place high on the list 2,000 Guineas hopefuls.

Under Ryan Moore, the Richard Hannon trained colt, a winner of all three starts last season, was always prominent.

The Grey Gatsby gave the evens favourite plenty to think about but in the final furlong Toormore’s class told and he stretched away to win.

“I was impressed. He was very professional and economical. He goes to the Guineas with a very good chance,” said Hannon.

Toormore was left unchanged at 7/1 for the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, May 3 by Paddypower and Betfred. Kingman’s 6/4 was trimmed to 11/8.

Godolphin’s Be Ready, a previously impressive winner at Doncaster, was the disappointment of the race, trailing in at the rear of the field.

But that was the only setback for the boys in blue. Their Basem, a full brother to Farhh, under a great ride from Silvestre de Sousa, produced a sparkling finish to win the Swan At Lavenham Wood Ditton.

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A slow early pace suited the Saeed bin Suroor trained 5/2 favourite who burst through in the final furlong to beat Made With Love, Roger Varian’s newcomer, and outsider Moonvoy under Seb Sanders for Jeremy Noseda.

“I’m sure he will improve for this race. I always liked him. We’ll find a conditions race. After his second race we’ll know more,” said bin Suroor.

The day got better for Godolphin when Sudden Wonder, trained by Charlie Appleby, took the Tattersalls Millions Trophy 35 minutes later.

Mickael Barzalona produced the previous course winner expertly and he stayed on to beat flashy chestnut Observational and Seagull Star at 7/1 to complete a 27/1 double.

“I ran him in this race because I wanted him to experience a bit of hustle and bustle and learn a bit more. He is entered in the Dante. That might be aiming a bit high but we will see,” said Appleby, whose New Approach colt was given an opening show of 33/1 for the Derby by Betfred.

Godolphin hit the bar in the Earl of Sefton Stakes when last year’s winner, Mull of Killough, at 4/1, repeated his victory for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam and Adam Kirby.

Godolphin’s French Navy, under Barzalona for Appleby, was closing in the latter stages but never got nearer than the one-length winning margin.

Kevin Ryan’s 11/4 chance Hamza produced a minor upset to take the Abernant Stakes under Jamie Spencer. As always, the five-year-old broke quickly and Spencer was able to hold off Es Que Love and fast-finishing but ultimately disappointing favourite Aljamaaheer.

There was another decent winner for trainer Hannon when debutant Spirit of Xian got the better of two fellow newcomers in the maiden fillies’ sprint.

Pat Dobbs got the winner home at 8/1 in a blanket finish.

Hadaatha for Paul Hanagan and trainer Varian got home in the claiming stakes at 7/2 while in the finale the spoils went to 7/4 favourite Cloudscape, who won well under William Buick for trainer John Gosden and looked a very useful performer.

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