Toronado a Classic contender

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: April 18 2013, 16:45 BST

Toronado was slashed for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby after a convincing win in the Craven Stakes.

Toronado: Impressive winner of the Craven Stakes
Toronado: Impressive winner of the Craven Stakes

Richard Hannon's colt was a four-length winner of the Guineas trial and was quickly bumped in from a best of 7/1 to 4/1 (general) for next month's opening Classic of the season. Some firms went as short as 3/1.

Several layers pushed out long-standing favourite Dawn Approach, which will go straight to the Guineas on May 4, but Paddy Power's 6/4 remained the standout price.

The last horse to complete the Craven-Guineas double was Haafhd in 2004.

Stan James were most impressed in terms of the Derby betting - the Epsom race in June is over 12 furlongs as opposed to the Guineas' eight.

They slashed Toronado into 5/1, making the colt their clear favourite.

William Hill, Ladbrokes and 888sport were still prepared to lay 10/1 though.

Sky Bet's Richard Horner said: "Toronado has thrown down the gauntlet to the long-time Guineas favourite Dawn Approach with a very impressive win and is now a clear second favourite with Sky Bet having been trimmed in from 6/1.

"Richard Hughes dictated the pace but his turn of foot at the end was impressive and he has to go well in the 2000 Guineas."

BetVictor's Charlie McCann added: "Jim Bolger's Dawn Approach certainly won't have things all his own way in the Guineas given Toronado could hardly have been more impressive when making all in the Craven and it looks as if Britain have a ready challenger against the Irish invasion in the colts' classic."

Trainer Hannon was also bullish about his star's chances for the races ahead.

He said: "He's a machine. He's a good horse - he's quickened today and quickened again.

"He will come back here for the (2000) Guineas and what beats him will win.

"At the moment I'd say he's top (of our three-year-old colts) and the other horse (Olympic Glory) can probably go to the French Guineas now.

"I've no doubt he will go a mile and a half (the Derby distance), too.''

Dundonnell was pushed out to 40/1 by Sky Bet after failing to trouble Toronado.

Meanwhile, Greatwood was cut into 33/1 (general) for the Derby after finishing second in one of the supporting races on the Newmarket card. The winner, Windhoek, does not hold a Classic entry.