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Toronado emerges as a genuine 2000 Guineas rival for Dawn Approach

| 18.04.2013

Richard Hannon sent home the one-two in Newmarket’s Craven Stakes for the second successive year this afternoon when his Toronado turned the race into a procession from the furlong pole with stable-mate Havana Gold running on past the beaten Dundonnell to claim the silver medal. The winner has halved in price for the 2000 Guineas from 7/1 to 7/2 with Coral on the back of the performance.

Having beaten Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf fourth Dundonnell by half a length on his final start as a two-year-old, Hannon’s colt had to concede a 3lb Group-race-winner’s penalty to that rival on the Rowley Mile, but that merely served to underline the impressive nature of his triumph.

Sent to the front from the off under a confident Richard Hughes, Toronado cut out the running before pushing out his mount to score in gentle fashion without the feintest need for recourse to the whip.

Tornado is owned by Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani, who also owns the yard’s next highest runner in the 2000 Guineas betting, 16/1 shot Olympic Glory. After the race Hannon – amid much enthusing about the performance of the former – offered a clue to the latter’s likely classic destination, saying “Thank goodness they belong to the same man, we can switch the other one (Olympic Glory) to the French Guineas.”

Last term Olympic Glory ran hot 2000 Guineas favourite Dawn Approach to within a length, with a “from the clouds” burst in Ascot’s Coventry Stakes. With that margin of defeat a length less than that that by which Jim Bolger’s colt had prevailed in any of his other races of last year Hannon’s willingness to send Olympic Glory to France implies a certain confidence in Toronado’s abilities relative to his stable-mate.

The son of 2002 English and Irish derby-winner High Chaparral was also halved in price for the Epsom classic, cut from 7/1 to 14/1 by Coral.